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"St. George" Rotunda Church
Georgi Jordanov

"St. George" Rotunda Church

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Тhe Rotunda "St. George“ is situated in the courtyard of the Presidential Office Building, amid remains of the ancient town of Serdica. It is considered the oldest architectural monument in Sofia and the only essentially preserved building of the Roman Empire. 

 

The rotunda can be securely set in the beginning of the 4th century when Emperor Constantine the Great (306 – 337 AD) often visited Serdica. The ancient city became an important Christian center in the years following the authorization of Christianity.


Over the centuries, the Rotunda has been mentioned by a number of writers, such as Vladislav the Grammarian, St. Pimen Zografski and others. It is assumed that ever since the 4th century, the church has been bearing the name of St. George the Martyr. The period when the church was converted into a mosque determined some major changes in it – the amazing frescoes were obliterated. After the Liberation (1878), the rotunda remained abandoned for a long time. In 1915, after decades of neglect, it was renovated - the frescoes were uncovered, the minaret removed and divine service resumed.


At present, daily worships are executed in Old Church Slavonic while chants are performed in the Eastern church singing, known as Byzantine music, typical of the Ancient Orthodox Church. Maintaining that ancient tradition strengthens connections to the past - every visitor could feel its spirit here and treasure it forever .

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