Elena Church

By far the most dramatic sight in all of Plovdiv, Elena Church awaits the admiration of visitors.

As you wander in Plovdiv Old Town, the sheer image of Elena Church will appear at the end of an ivy-swathed alleyway. It will leave you breathless at first glimpse. The church looms over the city’s warren of old history as a vision of admirable artistry. Like many other Christian sanctuaries, it was built at the site of a former temple in 337, which makes it one of the oldest churches in Plovdiv. Today, its ravishing bell tower stands more vigorously than ever thanks to 19th-century renovation efforts, luring visitors in for a memorable tour inside Elena Church.

The iconostasis of Elena Church is among the most well-preserved in Plovdiv. Crystal chandeliers and golden frames underscore the delicate embroidery of this Viennese piece. Take a walk in the nave, and you will see more of the church’s artistic treasures. The masterful touch of famous Bulgarian Revival painters dominates most of the artifacts. Marvel at the vivid frescoes and woodwork inside, and head out for some remarkable shots of the astonishing bell tower. This 13-meter tall structure is a sight to behold in Plovdiv’s skyline. A round copper-colored dome tops its plain white body, which boasts two bells and five floors. A few yards away in the church grounds, the icon gallery offers a permanent exhibition. There, you will get to see what the iconostasis looked like before the renovations.

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