Shipka Memorial Church
The Shipka Memorial church is located only 12km north of Kazanlak, at the south foot of the Stara Planina mountains near the town of Shipka. It was errected after the Liberation as a monument to both Russian and Bulgarian dead. The golden domes and the green and pink coloured facade loom against the mountains and attract the attention of the travellers in the Shipka pass.
The project design following the seventeen-century Russian church architecture with arks, friezes, pediments, and gold-plated ornaments, was the work of the Czeck architect A. I. Tomisko. The main entrance has three arks, topped off with the distinctive 50m-high spire of the bell tower. There are 17 bells, the heaviest of them weighs about 12 t.
The lime-tree iconostasis is richly decorated with gilded wood-carvings and is of great artistic value. The icons in the church were presented by Russian monks from the monastery of St. Pantaleimon on Mount Athos - Greece.The names of the Russian regiments and of both Russian and Bulgarian dead are inscribed on 34 marble plates built in the walls of the church. The honoured dust of the Russian soldiers killed at Shipka Pass (1877-78) have been kept in 17 stone sarcophagi in the crypt. The Shipka Memorial church was ceremoniously consecrated on 27 th Sept., 1902.
Church-Slavonic music floats in the church. There is a permanent show of icons and church plates here.
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