Home » Bulgaria » 100 National Tourist Sites » Boyan Church National Museum

Boyan Church National Museum

100 National Tourist Sites

The most legendary church in Bulgaria, lavishly decorated with priceless frescoes. Boyana church, St. St. Nicholas and Panteleimon” is not only the most representative monument of Bulgarian church painting, but also of all Orthodox art in the 13th century. In 1979, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List under No. 42. The church was built on three stages. The first building is small, with one apse and was built at the end of the 10th-beginning of the 11th century.

The second part of the church was added in the middle of the 13th century with funds donated by Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Desislava. It is a two-story church -tomb. The third extension, made with donations from the local population, dates from the 19th century. After the Liberation, the inhabitants of the village of Boyana wanted to demolish the old medieval and revival church and build a new, bigger one.

Queen Eleonora, the second wife of King Ferdinand , saved it by providing the villagers with another terrain. The king built a beautiful small park around the church and planted North American sequoias unique to Bulgaria and other rare species. After the death of Queen Eleonora in September 1917, she was buried next to the south side of the Kaloyan church.

The Boyan church owes its world fame to the wall paintings from 1259, which reflect the outstanding achievements of Bulgarian medieval culture. The depicted 89 scenes and compositions with 240 images of saints, angels, as well as the founder and royal portraits are distinguished by the uncharacteristic until then bright and dense colors, individuality, convincing psychological characteristics and vitality.

World specialists define these images as precursors of the European Renaissance, which began a century later in European culture. The Boyan Church is one of the few completely preserved medieval monuments that testify to the significant contribution of Bulgarian art to European culture. It is currently a branch of the National History Museum. It is located at “Boyansko Ezero” St. No. 3 in the district of Boyana.

Work time:
Monday – Sunday (winter), 09:00 – 17:30 (checkout until 17:00)
(summer), 09:30 – 18:00 (checkout until 17:30)

Entrance fees:
• entrance tickets for individual visitors – BGN 10.00
• for pupils and students – BGN 2.00 Guided talks:
• in Bulgarian – BGN 5.00
• in a foreign language – BGN 10.00
• in Bulgarian with translation – BGN 6.00.

Sofia 1616, “Boyansko Ezero” Street #1-3.
tel.: 02 959 0939, 02 959 2963
tel/fax: 02 959 2966

buses No. 64,107; route taxis No. 21


Did we get something wrong? Contact us!