A magic place where wishes come true
Join our customized guided Sofia tours and feel the atmosphere of the small bijou – the Russian church, officially known as the Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker. It is located in the centre of Sofia, near the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. It is a Russian Orthodox Church and it’s like taken from a fairy-tale. It’s one of the most remarkable buildings in Sofia.
It was built between 1907-1914 on the initiative of the Russian Embassy. First a chapel was built as part of the Embassy and later it became the church it is now. The church was part of a big program for building temples during the Russian missions.
At that time, Bulgaria had already become one of the centres for the Russian expat community, thus putting Sofia on the third place, after Paris and Berlin, for the number of Russian people who lived there.
Since 1921 archbishop Serafim Sobolev had been the warden of the church in Sofia. He is also the person who people called Grandfather Serafim and both Bulgarians and Russians visited the church at that time.
Grandfather Serafim was buried in the church. His grave is laid in the temple crypt.
Customized guided Sofia tours will gladly take you to the magic place, the Russian church
If today you ask somebody about the Russian church, they will all tell you it’s a place where miracles happen. You will never see the church yard empty. There are always people there. They go to the crypt with all their pain and leave it relatively relaxed.
There are a few tables in the crypt for the people to write their letters to the Grandfather (like everybody calls him). It was Serafim’s wish to have the people’s letters. While still living, he said that when he died people had to visit his grave. He promised that he would reply to people’s wishes only if they wrote them in letters. So people go to the Grandfather, pray and cry. They ask help from him and he always shows the right way to them. His spirit assists with the wishes to come true. But one needs to believe, to strongly believe in miracles because there are miracles and they happen.
Architecturally, the Russian church is an example of the 17th century-Muscovite churches style. It’s also been declared a cultural monument by local authorities and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A typical Russian Church
As typical for most Russian churches, the roof is gold plated, there are five golden domes (the central dome is 19 metres high). Inside is decorated with the late 19th century icons. The wall paintings are works of Russian artists, under the directions of Vasiliy Perminov. There are 4 icons on the iconostasis, which are copies of the icons in the Kiev cathedral “St. Vladimir”. There are also many places to put your candles.
The bells were donated by the Russian Emperor Nikolay the 2nd.
Many tourists visit the church either to simply enjoy it or to write their letters and pray. Either way, customized guided Sofia tours is there to help and make your day.
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