Bulgaria, Sofia, 3 Boyansko ezero str
Boyana Church „St Nicholas and St Panteleimon" is located in Sofia, in the beautiful residential area Boyana, at the foot of Vitosha mountain. The church is one of the few survived until the present day Christian medieval monuments. It is included in UNESCO world heritage list of cultural and natural heritage.
Boyana Church was built in several stages over the centuries. The first stage was between the X and XI century. After that was built the east part of the church with props, forming an inbuilt cross. From that period has been preserved the first layer of wall paintings, fragments of which have been conserved on the western and the eastern vault. The sculpture on the facade was created with techniques, typical for the older Bulgarian churches in Tarnovo, Ohrid and Kastoria .
The second stage of the construction of the church dates back to around the XIII century. Then, during the Second Bulgarian Empire, the will of the local ruler Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Desislava was that a new, two-storey tomb-church type chapel, be erected. At that time the church was also painted with frescoes.
A preserved ktetor’s inscription also serves as a proof that the church has been painted with frescoes again in 1259. It is these wall paintings, an outstanding achievement of the medieval Bulgarian culture, which brought the world fame of the church. There are 240 images represented, each of which with high artistic value and originality. The most famous and the oldest portraits of historical figures are those of the founders of the church (its donors) - Kaloyan and his wife Desislava, as well as the ones of the Bulgarian Tsar Constantine Asen Tikh and his wife Irina.
In 18 scenes the painters Vasilie and Dimitar have represented scenes from the everyday life of their contemporaries, as well as of the life of the patron of the church of St Nicholas and the Bulgarian national saint St Ivan Rilski.