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Boyana Church

Boyana Church

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The medieval church of "St. Nicholas and St. Panteleimon” , better known as the Boyana Church, is located in the Boyana Borough in Sofia. The church is world famous for its preserved wall paintings, especially those from 1259. Although there are three distinct layers of frescoes, precisely those from the mid-thirteenth century are considered masterworks of exceptional artistic level, quite intricate and realistic, some of the finest examples of wall-painting techniques and brilliant in their execution. There are 240 images: depictions of saints, angels, ktetor portraits (a ktetor or ktitor is a person who provides the funds for (re)construction of an Orthodox Church or monastery, for the addition of icons, frescos, and other works of art), etc. The images were created by the so-called “Boyana master” – the collective name stands for the team of unknown artists who decorated the church and most probably mastered their skills in the Tryavna School of Painting.

The Church was built in three stages. The first layer of frescoes, only partially visible now, dates to the period of the first stage -11th century.

Because of the exceptional artistic qualities of the temple, its frescoes and contribution to the development of the eastern European medieval art it was included in the UNESCO List of Worls Heritage Sites. After decades of fresco restoration, the temple is now finally open to the public.

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