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St. Paraskeva Church, Troyan
Georgi Yordanov

St. Paraskeva Church, Troyan

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The Church of St. Paraskevi (i.e. Saint Paraskevi of the Balkans or St. Petka of Bulgaria) is dedicated to the divine protector and patron saint of Troyan. Therefore, the feast of the church is celebrated on the St. Petka-Paraskeva Feast day - October 14. The church is in the town center. It was built in 1835 during the Bulgarian revival in place of the old chapel, and consecrated later that year on the feast of the church. It is considered that Vasil Levski himself, performing his then duties as deacon, took part in a mass here in 1871.

The solid stone walls kept the church relatively safe from harm, unlike many other buildings, during the burning of Troyan in 1877. However, everything else, not made of stone, was consumed by the fire. Two of the bronze candelabras remained intact, as well. Thanks to the people of Troyan and and the Monastery of Troyan, after the Liberation the church was restored.

The icons were created by different artists, while the iconostasis was expertly decorated with various elaborate floral and animal patterns. It remains an epitome of the artistry of the Tryavna School of Iconography.

The hallmarks of various historical periods - the basic ship-like shape of the building, characteristic of the First Bulgarian Kingdom, the dominance of red ochre in the color range used for the interior decoration, typical of the 12th -14th centuries, and etc. add the finishing touches to image of this invaluable masterpiece of history, spirituality, faith and craftsmanship. Therefore, the church was proclaimed a cultural monument and is an active place of worship.

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