The temples in Sofia are not one or two, as is the case in all major cities. However, the Russian Church of St. Nicholas is more special than the rest. And the reason for this is not only the impressive architecture, nor the golden cubes or the always beautiful flower garden near the main entrance. There is no way to walk past such a building and not to fall in love with it, but there is something more spiritual and a little bit more mystical, too.
Interesting facts about the Russian Church
Construction began in the late 19th century and continued for many years. It is consecrated in 1914 on the eve of World War I. It is built on a plot of the Russian Embassy because of the needs of Russian emigrants in the capital, but the original idea is for a small chapel. However, the church become a centre of the numerous Russian immigration. After 1947, it passed under the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate, as it is today.
The impressive murals that adorn the walls of the church are work of a team of artists. Vasily Perminov, who is one of the authors of the murals in the cathedral temple “St. Alexander Nevski”, headed the team. In architectural terms, we see a combination of modern and traditional with preserved ancient Russian elements, combined with Old Russian mosaics and carvings.
But why is the Russian Church so special?
In the crypt of the temple is the tomb of Archbishop Seraphim Sobolev or just St. Seraphim, known as the Wonder Worker of Sofia. He arrived in Bulgaria in 1921 and became famous for his great love for people and for helping them a lot. He had the ability to heal incurable diseases through prayer. In his lifetime, Seraphim said, “We must see our brothers as angels, and their sins as diseases.” He believed that one person did not become bad for his bad actions and therefore could forgive everyone.
The stories of the people he helped are thousands. They also talk about his ability to predict the future and read the thoughts of the others. The day before he died, he told one of the laymen:
“When I leave, write me letters. If I am blessed with the opportunity to meet the God, I will intercede for you and ask him to help you”.