Sunday, February 10, 2019

Boyana Church and National Museum of History

This weekend, instead of hiking, we decided to go museuming. On Saturday we visited the Boyana Church. It is a small church, located in Boyana, at the skirts of Vitosha, known for its amazing murals. Taking pictures in the church is absolutely forbidden, entrance is allowed only in small groups of max 8 people and is limited to 10 min per group, to preserve the gorgeous and precious murals.

 The church is a Unesco World Heritage monument.

Husband and I were extremely lucky, as at the time we were about to enter we were let in with a small group of students of medieval studies with their professor and a medievalist expert. So instead of the standard 10  min guide talk we were able to enjoy a lecture on the history of the church and the various details of the murals at an expert level. We were so, so delighted!

I was well prepared in advance with what to expect as the most significant of murals are well known and studied in school, but in real life they still managed to amaze me and fill me with awe for the imagination and skill of the year-1259 artist and his helpers. Apart from religious scenes with very realistic images of Christ and the saints, the murals also include the first secular portraits of Bulgarian rulers and their wives.

The grave of the wife of tzar Ferdinand, Eleonora, who understood the significance of the church and was instrumental in preserving it as a historical monument.

And on Sunday we visited the National Museum of History. We've been to the museum several times with the children, but today we were able to walk through it by ourselves and it was a different experience. And I love old things! It is always so moving to see pieces of art centuries and some even millennia years old!

Probably one of the most famous artifacts in the museum - the Panagyurishte  treasure:

 Replicas of crowns from the Second Bulgarian Kingdom:

 Replicas of two of the murals in the Boyana church - the donator of the church

and the Bulgarian ruler of the time:

Traditional clothes as of the XVIII-XIX centuries:

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