If a stranger asks Sofia residents which attractions to visit in Sofia among the recommendations is always the unique Boyana Church, built in the 10th century. Not surprisingly, the church “St. St. Nicholas and Panteleimon “is included in the UNESCO list back in 1979 and is the 42nd world attraction recognized as world cultural landmark with exceptional value for the planet.
During the communist regime, the frescoes of the Boyana church were displayed to all the guest from abroad, while the access to the unique paintings was almost impossible for the ordinary Bulgarians. Today the church is visited by the celebrities who visited Sofia. The last of them was the American singer Nicole Scherzinger, a girlfriend of Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov.
Boyana Church is inscribed for the first time in the 10th century. Parts of the oldest murals can be seen today. Visitors will easily distinguish the schematically drawn faces of Saints painted from the more vivid ones from the 13th century. Indeed, it is the second layer of the paintings that made Boyana Church world famous. They are made in the management of the local ruler Kaloyan. He and his wife Desislava were painted on the walls of the church, and on the opposite wall are the portraits of the Bulgarian Tsar Constantine Asen and his wife Irina.
From their portraits, the historians judge about the old Bulgarian traditions and the dresses of the period. Among the frescoes are dozens of scenes from the life of St. Nicholas and the first image of St. Ivan Rilski. The scene of the Last Supper is an interesting one because it gives an idea of the lives of the Bulgarian people and then their typical food such as garlic, onions, turnips and horseradish.
The image of St. Ephrem the Syrian also raises the curiosity of visitors because of its masterful made image. The eyes of the saint monitor and follow every guest of the church through the building. For a first time in this temple is painted a naked woman. For a while, this unique monument could be destroyed. Immediately after the liberation from Ottoman rule, the villagers of Boyana wanted to demolish the church and build a greater one.
The temple saved the second wife of King Ferdinand Eleanor. She loved the church so much that was even buried in the yard. You can visit the Boyana Church every day from 8 a.m. to 05: 30 p.m. in winter and 06:00 p.m. during the rest of the year. The admission will cost you 10 leva or approximately 5 euro= The prize for students is 2 leva or just one euro. There are also combined tickets for the Church and the National History Museum at a cost of 12 leva /6 euro/, discounts for group visits and free entrance for people with special needs and preschoolers. The admission is free and every Monday after 03:00 p.m.