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  • Simplicity Rich in Details

    The Reconstruction of Saint Paraskeva Church, Nesebar, Bulgaria

    Architects: Todor Mihaylov, Elitsa Andreeva, Emilia Kaleva, Aleksandra Vadinska
    Text: Vilmos Katona
    Photos: Evgeni Dinev

    Saint Paraskeva church

    Nesebar is a 3,000 year-old settlement along the coastline of the Black Sea in Bulgaria. Its church named after St Paraskeva dates from the 14th century when the town flourished. It is situated next to St Sophia Basilica built in the 5th century, right in the heart of the town spreading on an island which is uniquely rich in emblematic buildings. Built without a cross-nave, the single-nave church closely associates with the church of archangels Gabriel and Michael, which dates from the same time, of which only the foundation walls have been preserved. The church of Paraskeva luckily survived the earthquake in Chirpa which destroyed many of the historic monuments of the island in 1913. However, because of a landslide its height was reduced to its one third. Its three-part liturgical space following the design of early Christian churches with a longitudinal nave and Byzantine-style details came down to us in intact forms. To present the original height and mass of the building was a priority of the team of Bulgarian architects who were commissioned with the renovation project of the church. The barrel vault of the nave was restored by an arched roofing of the interior the height of which almost reaches that of the former vaulting. The building hosting exhibitions and secular events was heightened by a thin and transparent cylinder wall which surrounds it and which is bathed in natural light from the side, filtering through the pierced frieze.

    Architects: Todor Mihaylov, Elitsa Andreeva, Emilia Kaleva, Aleksandra Vadinska
    Civil engineer: prof. Todor Barakov PhD
    HVAC: Stefka Stefanova
    Restoration technology: Atanas Papadakis
    Plumbing engineering: Ivan Bilbilov
    Electrical engineering: Ivan Barakov
    Construction: Ekoart Ltd.
    Steel construction: Krupal Ltd.
    Client: Nesebar Municipality