This is Shipka Memorial Church also known as the Memorial Temple of the Birth of Christ or Shipka Monastery. It is a Bulgarian Orthodox church in the village of Shipka that was built between 1885 and 1902. It is dedicated to the Ukrainian, Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who gave their lives to liberate Bulgaria from the Ottomans during the Russo-Turkish war. It opened in Autumn of 1902 coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Battles of Shipka Pass.
Yesterday, you got an tour of the exterior of this magnificent church (find link to post below) and today, I will take you inside. A large crowd was leaving just as I arrived so I had the whole place to myself!
The sun streaming in the side window and the candlelight provided quite a heavenly glow. The altar is adorned with iconographic depictions of Jesus, his disciples and beloved saints.
Here you can see a more detailed shot of the painting in the arch above the altar. The colors and detail are exquisite.
This is a peak up into one of the domes.
Here is that last dome almost directly above me. That's the face of Jesus looking down through the chandelier. :)
Look at this detail! I was intrigued by the low-relief sculptural style of this icon. I am a fan of tooled metal as well as collage but I had never seen it combined before. I am feeling a little artistic inspiration coming on!
With all of the incredible details in this church, inside and out, I was a bit surprised by these windows. While stained glass may have been over the top, the hand painted panes seemed quite rustic...BUT I LOVE THEM TOO! They provided a nice resting place for your eyes considering everything else that was going on here.
This is the stairwell headed down to the crypt where the remains of the nearly 19,000 soldiers that I mentioned in the introduction are laid to rest.
My photos and the information I have provided don't do this church justice. I was constantly humbled by the stories and the history behind so many of the places I visited in Bulgaria and continue to learn more every time I post. Thank you for coming along for the ride!
Want to see more from my travels around Bulgaria? Check out my previous posts:
!steemitworldmap 42.716191 lat 25.328963 long Shipka Memorial Church d3scr