Sofia city council approves $114,000 to renovate 3 churches

Sofia, May 29, 2019

St. George Rotunda. Photo: St. George Rotunda. Photo:     

Three Orthodox churches in the capital city of Bulgaria will undergo necessary renovations thanks to an allocation from the municipality of Sofia.

The decision to allocate $114,000 (200,000 leva) was made during a meeting of the city council’s Committee on Culture and Education yesterday, reports Dobrotoliubie.

The largest amount, $44,500 (78,000 leva), will be allocated for the St. George Rotunda, considered the oldest building in Sofia, dating to the 4th century. It was believed to have been a mausoleum or ceremonial hall when Sofia was the residence of Emperors Galerius and Constantine the Great. It was converted into a church in the 6th century. Its red brick cylindrical structure atop a square base is an iconic image, known throughout the world. Three layers of frescoes have been discovered inside, the earliest dating to the 10th century. The ancient structure is in need of restoration and conservation work.

$28,500 (50,000 leva) will be allocated to the Church of the Holy Annunciation in the Friendship district of the city. Construction on the church began in 2012, though it has yet to be finished. It was built because the neighboring Church of the Holy Prophet Elijah is too small to hold everyone on feast days.

A little less than $22,800 (40,000 leva) will also be allocated for the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the northern suburb of Novi Iskar. The church needs repairs for its walls and ceilings, new window frames, electricity installation, and an iconostasis.

The Bulgarian state government allocated $180,000 (300,000 leva) for repairs to the Church of Sts. Onuphrius, Damascene, and All the Gabrovo Martyrs in Gabrovo in September, having already allocated $108,000 (180,000 leval) the previous September.

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