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Photographer's Note

My dear friends, this is my first night shot posting and the result of my third attempt to take it properly..:-)) I hope you will excuse the quality - I had no tripod and used for ballance a huge trash bin, but hope it was worth to stand the unconvinience, as the Varna Jewel (as I call it) is a beauty and I was very eager to show it to you, no matter my humble skills and not very high quality of photographical equipment. However, I hope very much you will enjoy it the way I offer it to you today, as it has a significant place in Varna history too.

This is the sight of Varna Assumption Cathedral, situated in the very core of the city, lit up for the night.
It was built in the first years after the liberation of the country. The honour to lay the main stone of the future temple fell to prince Alexander I Batenberg who arrived to Varna on 4th August 1880 and the official ceremony took place on 22nd August 1880. The chosen name Uspenie Presvyatiya Bogoroditza (the Assumption) was to commemorate the recently deceased all-Russian empress Maria Alexandrovna - a Bulgarian benefactress and aunt of the prince. No time was wasted and the building works started right away. It took 6 years for the temple to be completed. The project imitated the style of the Peterhoff temple in Petersburg. The church was planned to reach the size of 35 x 35 metres, with a three-nave basilica, the main altar dedicated to the Assumption, the northern one - to the faithful prince St. Alexander Nevsky, the southern - to St. Nicholas the Wonder-Worker. On 15th March 1884 the committee assigned the construction to the prominent church-builder Gencho Kanev from Tryavna. The following year the temple was already erected, in September the roofing was finished and on 30th August 1886 the first solemn mass was celebrated there. However, the design of its interior continued throughout the following years. The bishop's stall was placed in 1897; later on the iconostasis was also ready. The bell was supposed to weigh 1638 kg, with an inscribed text that read: In honour of the Liberator. In 1901 the Russian czar Nicolay II presented 42 smaller and 3 bigger icons, and in 1904 other 8 icons were brought to the church to be placed at the middle and northern doorways. In 1911 the church flooring was covered with multicoloured ceramic tiles. 4 years later the balcony was ready. In 1941-43 the bell-tower (38 m high) and the cupolas were reconstructed to their present form, the steam-heating room was built, the roofing structure replaced. The temple was icon-painted in the years following 1949; the chandeliers were also installed at that time.

So, hope you will enjoy the sight of it...:-)

PP: sharpened and run through NeatImage to reduce some noice in the sky. Resized. All comments for improvement are warmly welcomed! :-)

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Additional Photos by Maria Veleva (sunny) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 894 W: 2 N: 971] (3069)
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