One of Sofia’s most emblematic buildings – the Russian Church – is located mere 700 m away from the Sofia University metro station. Green-roofed and golden-domed, the church is a piece of beauty in the very heart of Bulgaria’s capital. However, its remarkable appearance isn’t the only reason why so many people – local or foreign – visit the place. It is also believed to make wishes come true.
The Church of St Nicholas the Miracle-Maker, as the Russian Church is officially named, was built at the end of 19th century and consecrated in 1914. The Eastern Orthodox church is constructed on an area that belongs to the Russian Embassy and is primarily designed to serve the religious needs of all Russian immigrants in the city.
The church is an example of the traditional church architecture of 19th-century Russia, although it does embody some modern elements too. The first thing that catches the eye are its five gold-coated domes, the central one being 19 meters tall. The gilded lining and the decorative elements of the roofs also contribute to its unique appearance and character.
The crypt of the Russian church is home to the remains of Archbishop Seraphim Sobolev who is believed to have been (and still be) a miracle-maker. There are special tables in the church where one can sit and write a note to the saint, asking him for help or blessing. Some people ask him for a child, others – to help them recover from a serious disease, and still others – to simply get them through a difficult exam at university. Apparently most of the wishes do come true.
The magnificent St George Rotunda is positioned in the patio between the Presidency and the Sheraton Hotel at a level, which is a few meters below the contemporary streets of the Bulgarian capital.