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St. Nedelya’s Cathedral

St. Nedelya’s Cathedral

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Sveta Nedelya Church ( english: Holy Sunday Church)

The cathedral has a rich historical background; however its deepest roots are shrouded in obscurity. It’s assumed that the temple was built in the 10th century.  Unlike most other churches in the city that underwent reconstructions and were rebuilt in stone in the 19th century, its stone foundations and otherwise wooden construction remained unchanged until the mid 1800s.

The long history of St. Nedelya’s Cathedral determined the large number of constructive changes and the dynamics of its spiritual life. In the late 19th century, the church acquired another name “Sveti Kral” (eng: Holy King) because the remains of Stephen Urosh II Milutin, the Serbian king, were stored there.

Through the ages the cathedral has been reconstructed several times for various purposes – restoration, renovation and expansion, after natural disasters, abuse of property, etc. The present appearance/ exterior of the church/ is a result of the last reconstruction/remodeling in 1933.

The church is domed, in a central-plan style, with Neo-Byzantine construction characteristics. The 11-bell tower, the gilded iconostasis with two tiers of icons and the richly decorated walls evoke owe and admiration. The relics of saints, bishops and exarchs (“exarch” - an eastern orthodox bishop; the equivalent of a vicar apostolic) bring here thousands of believers to worship.

"St Nedelya" is one of the most- visited tourist sites in Sofia. The cathedral and the eponymous square are located in the heart of downtown Sofia.

The Holy Sunday Church is a cathedral of the Sofia bishopric of the Bulgarian Patriarchate.

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