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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

St. Nicholay the Wonderworker church in Samokov

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

This is a magnificent church that you should not miss to visit when passing through Samokov.

St. Nikolay Wonderworker church in Samokov
Welcome to St. Nicholay the Wonderworker church
St. Nikolay Wonderworker church in Samokov

How to get here?

The construction of this exceptional and so delightful temple began on March 9, 1859.

"St. Nicholay the Wonderworker" was solemnly consecrated on October 26, 1861.

The date was probably not chosen by chance, because it was then that the Greek bishop was expelled from Samokov, and the church service from that day onwards continues to be conducted only in Bulgarian literary language and never again in Greek.

St. Nikolay Wonderworker church in Samokov

The erection of this impressive temple became a symbol of the strong patriotism of the people of Samokov in the struggle against the Greek clergy and our church independence, as well as the captivating dream of the Bulgarians for freedom.

St. Nikolay Wonderworker church in Samokov

I park in the small alley, next to the big stone wall surrounding the yard.

The three white domes face high in the sky and can be seen from afar.

The temple is one-apse, with an open narthex and a bell tower above the main entrance.

And it's exceptional!

This is definitely one of the most beautiful temples I have visited and photographed!

St. Nicholay the Wonderworker is built of stone, alternating with brick belts.

Its scale is significant and exceeds those of the earlier Samokov temples!

The roof is gabled with its three beautiful white domes. To the west there is an open narthex with a high bell tower.

The amazing ornamented under-roof cornice is simply amazing!

Beautifully decorated with picturesque ornaments, it just made me take pictures of it in detail.

An interesting feature of the eastern facade is the cornice above the apse, which has stone images of birds and heads, resembling the figures of dragons from the iconostasis of the Metropolitan church again in the same city.

St. Nikolay Wonderworker church in Samokov

There are two entrances - from the north and from the west. An arcade portico is located above the northern entrance.

The facade of the temple is moved by blind arches in which the windows are placed (five on the longitudinal walls) and three rosettes on the west and east walls.

St. Nikolay Wonderworker church in Samokov

Entering from the east, right next to the apse is the tomb of the first exarchate metropolitan of Samokov - Dositei. He is also the last, because after his death the Samokov diocese was closed and annexed to the Sofia diocese.

Next to the tomb of Dositei there is a symbolic tombstone of the author of "Istoria Slavianobalgarska".

St. Nikolay Wonderworker church in Samokov

Here is an extremely interesting fact - during the construction of a house, east of today's church fence, a grave was found in which a medallion was found. The name "Paisius" is read on the medallion.

This interesting find, together with the note from the condominium of the Hilendar Monastery from July 3, 1798, which states that hieromonk Hadji Paisii died and was buried in Samokov, make the city a major contender for the place where Paisii Hilendarski found eternal rest.

St. Nikolay Wonderworker church in Samokov

The interior of the temple is huge and is traditionally divided into two parts - altar and nave, and between them - the iconostasis. The icons were made by Samokov painters.

Murals are almost missing.

The large yard of St. Nicholay the Wonderworker church is covered with a lush green lawn, and along the alleys glow and smile different colors.

And now bow your head in humility!

I wish you an exceptional and impressive walk!

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