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Church St. George Rotunda, Sofia

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About Course

History and teachings
The Roman Rotunda /the church “St. George”/ is the oldest preserved structure which still serves its original purpose in the Sofia city.

It was built in the 4th century by the Romans according to a fairly complex plan: a vast, circular central chamber, surmounted by a dome and surrounded by four semi-circular apses.

Ther temple has been significantly changed since then.First it was destroyed by the Huns, rebuilt as church, then turned into a mosque by the Ottomans. The Roman Rotunda has been recently restored, it worth seeing due to its simple, but still exquisite architecture, remarkable remnants of frescoes and the entire complex of ruins behind the altar.

Cross-cultural dimensions
To the east lie excavated foundations of the Roman settlement of Serdica. Nowadays the church is a museum protectied by UNESCO. Today St. George church is the oldest Eastern European Orthodox church, as well as it is the second oldest building in the entire city with really dramatic history. The temple is a part of an entire architectural complex of archaeological monuments, consisting of the base remains from a large basilica, on the floor of which there are evidences for a special heating system – the so called hypocaust, as well as the stone pavement of one of the main streets in ancient Serdica, supplied with skillfully constructed drainage. This archeological complex of the church and the above mentioned remains was on the territory of the Constantine’s quarter in the antique city. The residence of Emperor Constantine I the Great itself was found under the neighboring Hotel Rila.

Useful information:
recommended for all; unique; some prior knowledge on Roman and Bysantium empires recomended; accessible;

Location, public transportationcentral, public transportation available

Human resources, assistance-limited

Accessibility (for disabled) , preparedness of the staffaccessible Infrastructure, staff, safety measures, languages Bulgarian and English

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What Will You Learn?

  • knowledge of ancient history, the effects of different cultures and religions on the architectural profile and purpose of the structures;

Course Content

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