Sunday, 17 June 2012


The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Built in Neo-Byzantine style, it serves as the cathedral church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria and is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world, as well as one of Sofia's symbols and primary tourist attractions. The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia occupies an area of 3,170 square metres and can hold 10,000 people inside. It is the second biggest cathedral located on the Balkan Peninsula after the Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a cross-domed basilica featuring an emphasized central dome. The cathedral's gold-plated dome is 45 m high, with the bell tower reaching 53 metres. The temple has 12 bells with total weight of 23 tons, the heaviest weighing 12 tons and the lightest 10 kilograms. The interior is decorated with Italian marble in various colours, Brazilian onyx, alabaster, and other luxurious materials. The central dome has the Lord's Prayer inscribed around it, with thin gold letters.

The construction of the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral started in 1882 (having been planned since 19 February, 1879), when the foundation stone was laid, but most of it was built between 1904 and 1912.  Saint Alexander Nevsky was a Russian prince. The cathedral was created in honour to the Russian soldiers who died during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, as a result of which Bulgaria was liberated from Ottoman rule.

The cathedral was designed by Alexander Pomerantsev, aided by Alexander Smirnov and Alexander Yakovlev, as the initial 1884-1885 project of Ivan Bogomolov was radically changed by Pomerantsev. The final design was finished in 1898, and the construction and decoration were done by a team of Bulgarian, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and other European artists, architects and workers.

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme hosted by Robert and Louis,
and also part of Charlotte's Spiritual Sunday meme.

The most beautiful psalm "Bless the Lord, O My Soul " by Rachmaninov was being sung when we visited the cathedral in 2006, and the feeling was awe-inspiring and magical. Not a sound was made by the hundreds of tourists inside the cathedral as the choir started to sing...

Performed by the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, conducted by Robert Shaw.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
blessed art Thou, O Lord.
O Lord my God, Thou art very great.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord.
Thou are clothed with honor and majesty.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord.
The waters stand upon the mountains.
Marvelous are Thy works, O Lord
The waters flow between the hills.
Marvellous are Thy works, O Lord.
In wisdom hast Thou made all things.
Glory to Thee, O Lord, who hast created all!


  1. I too love photographing churches, from the simple to the ornate. But I probably like the ornate ones best!

  2. Eastern European churches are the best! These are great photos... the combination of this setting and that music must have been really moving...

  3. In my opinion, this church looks as well like an adventure, to be discovered.

    Thank you for these great pictures; and the joy for the sense of sound as well.

    Please have a good start into the new week.


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