As you can see in several Balkan capitals, having a grandiose cathedral church is just a must. After the unusually beautiful Skopjes Church Of St. Clement Of Ohrid and the biggest Orthodox church St. Sava in Belgrade, here is some info to inspire you to visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, in Sofia.
The church is built in a Neo-Byzantine style and it is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. With a total area of 3,170 square meters, it can hold up to 10,000 people inside. This church was built as a monument in the memory of the Russian soldiers that died during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. That is why the name of the church is Alexander Nevsky, who is a Russian saint.
Initially, the idea was for the cathedral to be built in the old capital of Tarnovo, while later, after Prince Alexander I Battenberg's insistence, the city of Sofia got chosen. The construction site is smartly chosen, too. The place where the church is placed now was the highest point in the old Sofia and had a panoramic view of the city. Some believe that when you enter the temple, you are passing over an ancient cemetery. Right under the church is the Necropolis of the Ancient town of Serdika.
An interesting fact is that the place where the Alexander Nevsky church is built, was originally a place chosen for the construction of the new palace of Prince Battenberg, who eventually gave it up for the construction of the cathedral.
The 12 bells of the cathedral weigh more than 20 tons. These giants can be heard within a radius of 15 km. They are brought from Moscow. Can you imagine?
The cathedral with its gold-plated domes became an important emblem for the Bulgarian religious center. It's also a landmark that enhances the square St. Alexander Nevsky with its majesty. Just for the record, the golden area of the domes is 700m2.
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.