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St. ALEXANDER NEVSKI CATHEDRAL

 

The St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral was designed by the Russian architect Alexander Pomerantsev and was built between 1904 and 1912.

A decision for its construction was taken by the Constituent National Assembly in Veliko Tarnovo in 1879, as an expression of the national gratitude for the liberation, which led to the restoration of the Bulgarian statehood.

The construction of the cathedral began only in 1904, after raising of funds through state subsidies and voluntary donations necessary for implementation of this spectacular for the country endeavour. Despite the scale and complexity of the construction it was completed in a record short period of eight years.

The inner space of the cathedral is impressive with its masterful execution of columns, arches, capitals, friezes, etc. architectural components, and the valuable and rare types of building materials used for their decoration. It is complemented by the high-artistic frescoes, icons and other painting genres made by 20 Russian and 30 Bulgarian artists, some of the best artists in the two countries at that time. The cathedral was consecrated in 1924.

In the construction took part prominent Bulgarian and Russian architects P. Momchilov, Y. Mladenov, Y. Shamardzhiev, and G. Lazarov. Decoration and mural paintings were done by the artists V. Vasnetsov, V. Savinski, A. Mitov, St. Ivanov, A. Belkovski and others.

Today, in the crypt of the cathedral the collection of the most valuable medieval icons of the National Art Gallery is displayed.

The cathedral is an architectural, memorial and artistic monument of culture of national importance.