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Chelopechene

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“Chelopechene” stands as a distinctive district of Sofia, nestled within the “Kremikovtsi” region, situated approximately 12 km northeast of the city center, beyond the confines of the ring road.

Legend and history intertwine to provide two captivating narratives regarding the etymology of Chelopechene’s name. One legend suggests that the neighborhood earned its name from its sun-drenched disposition, where the sunlight consistently bathes the area. Another tale harks back to the Russo-Turkish War of Liberation when, during the Turkish retreat, a conflagration engulfed the eastern part of the village, resulting in the entire settlement being razed. In the midst of this fiery calamity, one individual’s forehead was also singed, giving rise to the appellation Chelopechene.

Since 1978, Chelopechene has been an integral district of Sofia, boasting a population of 1720 people as of September 15, 2011, based on permanent addresses.

Notable among its landmarks is the “Resurrection of Christ” church, featuring an intricately crafted iconostasis by Debar artisans from the Filipov family. Within the church, the icons bear the distinctive touch of the Strumica painter Grigoriy Petsanov. A particular icon of the Holy Mother of God, dated March 16, 1879, is adorned with a signature attributing its creation to Grigoria, the Macedonian icon painter from Strumica, and the donors Gior… Petkov and his spouse and child, seeking both spiritual and physical well-being.

Chelopechene is not without its share of historical incidents, notably the events of July 3, 2008. At 6:30 a.m., a series of explosive incidents occurred in military warehouses within the district, resulting in the detonation of almost 1,500 tons of ammunition. The explosions, marked by their intensity, reverberated strongly throughout Sofia, creating a significant impact that resonated for hours.

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