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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

St. Elijah the Prophet church (a.k.a Kulenska church)

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

My dear friends, I present to you a uniquely beautiful temple located in Kazanlak.

Its story is interesting and rich and now I will tell it to you.

The Church of the Holy Prophet Elijah, also known as the Kulenska Church, is located in the oldest Kazanlak neighborhood - "Kulen", where our history begins today.

The gilded dome of the Kulenska church

How to get here?

Built around 1812, it was the first Orthodox church in Kazanlak. In order not to irritate the Ottomans, only its roof was visible above the ground, and twelve steps descended inside it.

When the number of Bulgarians in the Kulen neighborhood increased significantly and the small church that existed there became too crowded and could no longer accommodate people, it was decided to build a new, larger and more majestic church in its place.

And here the Bozveli brothers intervene, with whose inalienable help, as well as with the help of the Kulentsi people themselves, a new construction begins, led by master Joseph.

The temple was completed in 1865.

The church had a five-meter dome with twelve windows and an almost two-meter iron cross.

The icons were painted by the famous Revival era artist from Chirpan Georgi Danchov - Zografina and on December 30, 1872 Metropolitan Hilarion Makariopolski performed the consecration.

In August 1877, before the Liberation, the church was unfortunately completely burnt down by Turkish troops.

It was rebuilt for a long time and with great difficulty until 1936, when a new fire caused enormous damage. Only the magnificent works on the dome "Lord of Hosts" and "The Four Evangelists", the work of the famous Kazanlak artist Ivan Enchev - Vidyu, survive.

The church has regained its former glory only in recent years.

I wish you an exceptional and impressive walk!

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