Address: 3 Lake Boyansko
Monument of UNESCO in 1979
Boyana Church is located at the foot of Vitosha mountain. In XI century there was a fortification, which played an important role in the wars with Byzantium. Boyana Church is the most remarkable monument of Bulgarian mediaeval painting. However it is one of the best preserved and most interesting architectural monuments of our epoch of feudalism. The frescos are among the most valuable works of medieval European art, which vividly outlines the Renaissance motifs and techniques. Was painted by talented Boyana master. The murals are from 1259 and a high artistic qualities and undeniable contribution to the European art culture.
On the north wall depicts donors Sebastocrator Kaloyan, Tsarev cousin, grandson of the Serbian King Stefan and his wife Desislava, but on the opposite wall - the royal couple Konstantin Asen Tih and Irene, daughter of Tsar Ivan Assen II and daughter of the Byzantine emperor Theodore Laskarina. All details are transmitted in dress, the faces are the individual characteristics, so that it can be assumed that these are true portraits, painted from life, and probably it in a time when portraiture was in the germ. In many religious scenes are depicted by the then popular features of life. The murals are not only artistic but also historical and documentary value.
The cloister is not destroyed by the Turks in the conquest of Sofia, but declined. Was severely affected during the XVII century, and during the XVIII century completely abandoned. Currently is a parish of the Boyana church in Sofia and serve as a museum of Bulgarian art. In 1987 he completed restoration activities in the Boyana Church.
Boyana Church is a unique monument of Bulgarian spirit. It is one of the few fully preserved medieval monuments, which is an extraordinary example of medieval Bulgarian iconography and architecture of that period. As a monument of world importance it was declared a world Heritage / UNESCO /. This church is not an isolated phenomenon but is associated with a chain of monuments in Bulgaria, many of which were destroyed by the Ottoman conquerors.
In the Middle Ages - the period of the I Bulgarian kingdom in the region of Sredets had 35 forts and settlements. Protected area extending over the northern and western slopes of Vitosha fortified, included two main strongholds - Sredets and Pernik. Between them there was contact, passing through the Lily of scale, which was a major part of the Boyana fortress. Sredets has been a major center of military and administrative area and had a significant communicative meaning. Around town, situated in the field, there were three concentric rings of fortified walls. The first of these consisted of forts along the slopes of Vitosha mountain. One of these fortresses was Boyana.
Scanty archaeological data do not enable the scheme to restore the fortress. The ruins show that the Boyana Church was situated within the fortified settlement, which was pursuing the link between Sredets Pernik and other fortifications around and is patrolled the road between the slopes of Vitosha and Liulin, which is the southern approach to the Sofia field. This church is the only survived to the present day part of the fortress of Boyana.
The complex consists of three parts built by the oldest church - east, was built in the tenth and eleventh-century thereto additionally built in XIII century two-storey church in great architectural terms is related to the first. The third part was built in XIV century stone and stands too foreign to the other two. True value for the Bulgarian cultural heritage are the world famous frescoes of the Boyana Church, a proof of the achievements of Bulgarian icon-painting school of the Middle Ages. They are made in 1259 by instruction of Sebastocrator Kaloyan.
The oldest part - East dates back to the fortress of Boyana. It is small, almost cubic, cross church. It is built of bricks. In the plan presented ravnoramenen inscribed cross. Her foot dome on four arches of the lumbar shoulders. Apse is a semicircular shape and a window.
The second part is a two-storey building attached to the western facade of the church. According to the reserved sign on the north side of the bottom floor of the church was built and decorated by means of Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Desislava in 1259 (then appear again and the old part of the church). Used in the building are brick and stone. Presents a family church - a tomb, and is associated with the architectonic style and the old building. Ground floor, dedicated to St. Nicholas is arched, rectangular and serves as a narthex of the church, a floor above him is a cruciform chapel dedicated to St. Panteleimon.
Third, the most western part, later than in 1882 outhouse, a two-story narthex and no artistic value.
Boyana Church is primarily known for its exceptional wall paintings from 1259. Boyana master was able to put a new realistic trend in the tenets of. Boyana Church is known in Bulgaria and abroad mainly to the high artistic merit of the murals from 1259, which broadly follow the system and decorative iconography of Byzantine art from the XI - XII century style and mixed freskovo - tempera technique frescoes of the Boyana church are very close to the frescoes in the XIII century Tarnovo They are created by an unknown artist - Bulgarian who worked in the style of the Tarnovo Artistic School. With its lively, they are humanist realism renaissance phenomenon, and that its culmination in the entire European art phase. Occupying one of the first places in the medieval art of Europe in the XIII century
Boyana master was able to devote time exclusively for realism and a new humanistic medieval aesthetics. The focus is the guy - smart, kind, compassionate. It is underlined in the figurative scenes "Crucifixion", "Last Supper", "Transfiguration" and others. especially in the many images of Christ presented in a different role, status, age - Christ Almighty, Christ Benefactor, Christ 12 - years in the temple and others. The register of saints do Boyana master creates a rich portrait gallery of secular, religious and military parties, where together with a thin subtle psychological characteristics and individual beauty emerges in the real flesh. Special interest such as art with historical and important documentary presents a portrait of Tsar Constantine Asen (1257-77) and his wife Irina and Sebastocrator portraits of Kaloyan and his wife Desislava, written in the narthex. The figures in the portraits are presented in full length, in ceremonial postures and war paint, with signs of royal dignity and sevastokratorskoto. Kaloyan depicts a model of a church built by him in his hands. The images are vital and rich with psychological depth.
From 1968 Boyana Church is a national monument.