Temple - Shipka Monument - Temples

Temple - Shipka Monument - Temples 

    Faced majestically near the town of Shipka in the southern foothills of the Balkan Mountains, it is one of the most holy places dear to the Bulgarian people. True pantheon of immortality, preserved the memory of the sacrifice feat of the Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers who died for the liberation of Bulgaria in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878).

    Among the circle of prominent Russian individuals sympathetic to the Bulgarian liberation cause and took a direct part in the war, the idea to build a memorial for the dead faith of the Bulgarian king and freedom hero. On April 25, 1880 and released the permission of Emperor Alexander II for the establishment of the "Committee for the construction of an Orthodox church at the foot of the mountain in southern Bulgaria, for an everlasting commemoration of soldiers fallen in the war 1877-1878" In the frame of the Committee shall collected more than 300,000 rubles and many donations. At the suggestion of Count Ignatiev is the church decided to bear the name "Christmas" as the last great battle happens in the days of this festival.
    Announced a competition ends with a first premium akad.Tomishko. Preparations for building the temple in his project began in 1885, but its actual construction continues after nearly 10-year break. On July 2, 1934 the Russian state donated the temple of the Bulgarian people.



    The temple is the undisputed masterpiece of architecture and building art. Built in the style of Russian churches of the seventeenth century church has 5 domes - four sideand 33 meters high with a central 42 m height, filled in the traditional Russian form ofconstruction and gilded onion. The central entrance to the temple is on the westfacade, where stands a majestic bell tower with a height of 45 m.   

   The temple has 17 bells, decorated with many ornaments, inscriptions andembossed designs. All together they weigh 20 tons. Domes rise over 10 metal crossstudded with copper and gold. Colours color, white stone details on the background of red brick walls, relief friezes depicting stylized birds and plants give it a figure of the fairy-tale castle.

    Inside is an impressive monumental main iconostasis carved from lime wood. The icons on it are 83 carved from dried cypress wood, were made by monks from Mount Athos Russian monastery of "St. Panteleimon" in Mount Athos. After completing hisgilded iconostasis is full.

    Besides biblical scenes painted in the central part of the temple on the south andnorth wall depict Russian and Bulgarian historical figures, canonized by the Orthodox Church. Among them are the brothers Cyril and Methodius.

     Given the purpose of the temple - a monument to the heroes of epic Shipka, in themain level of the church was built crypt. Here are 34 mounted marble memorialplates, which are in gold letters the names of military parts and offer victims - 18,491people. Four plates, mounted on the west wall were recorded 451 names of the dead Bulgarian volunteers.


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