Bulgaria - Veliko Tarnovo
Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity
Download our application and bring your mobile with yourself, to never miss a program!
Church of the Nativity is the earliest and the most richly decorated church in the village of Arbanasi. It was erected in the late 16 c. and the early 17 c. and represents a stone building sized 28.8 m per 10.4 m. It stands in the western corner of the village close to St. Nicholas Monastery. The churchyard bordered on a house that was used as a convent of Mount Athos monasteries. For some time it was the home of Neophyte of Rila.
The Nativity Church was built by stages. It consists of a naos, a narthex, a gallery and a chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is the most richly painted church in Arbanassi. The oldest layer of wall-paintings is from the end of XVI c. The murals in the naos (men’s section) date back to 1597. The superb compositions Doomsday and The Nativity of Christ are also dated to that period. The magnificent murals in the narthex (the women’s section) offer rich plots and lovely figural images. One of the most interesting scenes is the genealogical tree of Jesus Christ with the twelve ancient philosophers. The decoration of the narthex was completed in 1638.
The iconostasis in the St. John the Baptist chapel at the church is one of the earliest masterpieces of wood-carving in the Bulgarian lands.
“The wheel of life” is the most impressive wall-painting in the gallery of the church. This is the earliest presentation of the scene on the walls of Bulgarian churches.
For its breathtaking interiors completely covered with frescos the church is unparalleled in Bulgaria. The broad thematic range of mural compositions reveals an aesthetic taste brought to perfection, coupled with encyclopaedic quality of knowledge.
The church and its artistic value have on many occasions been the subject of research and publications by prominent Bulgarian historians, theologians and art critics. It is a monument of culture of world importance.
NATIONAL ARCHITECTURAL RESERVE ARBANASI (DEMO)
The earliest information about the existing of Arbanasi is from the end of XV c. In this time it was owned by high-ranking dignitaries in the Ottoman Empire. The legalized privileges made Arbanasi a very attractive place for living. There were citizens with Albanian, Bulgarian, Greek and Romanian origin. There were 1000 houses in XVII c, when the time of economic boom of the village was. The architecture of the buildings was very characteristic – the houses were like fortresses, surrounded by high stone walls as the Konstantsalieva’s House, the Kandilarova’s House etc. The church had a principal role in the life of the village. Since the middle of XVI c. to the end of XVIII c. 7 churches were built and decorated.
Institute for Computer Science and Control | Hungarian Academy of Sciences
H-1111 Budapest, Lágymányosi u. 11. | Phone: +36 1 279 6193
Copyright © 2005-2013 MTA SZTAKI - All rights reserved.