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St. Nedelya (St. Kyriaki)

The St. Nedelya Cathedral is located on the homonymous square in Sofia. It is dedicated to Saint Nedelya (Nedelya means Sunday in Bulgarian; Nedelya is the Slavonic name of St. Kyriaki). St. Kyriaki was the daughter of two wealthy Greeks called Dorotheus and Eusebia. Her parents were both Christians. When she grow older she turned down many suitors. One of them went to the emperor Diocletian. He ordered her parents to be tortured for being Christians and later exiled them. They tortured Kyriaki in every possible way but her faith wouldn't be brake. As she was about to be beheaded she started praying to God. That was the last thing that she did on the 7th July 289. Later the Bulgarian tsars Asenevtsi brought her remains in the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom – Tarnovo. The Sofia cathedral St. Nedelya was probably built in 10th c. In the beginning of 50-s of 19th c. the Sofia bishopric and the Sofia city church municipality decided to build there a new temple. Collecting grants started in the spring of 1853. On April 25 1856 enthusiastic Sofia citizens began destroying the old and rotten church and in the summer of 1856 the construction of the new one started. Its decoration took some years and that is why the sanctification was delayed. The sanctification gathered over 20,000 people. The St. Nedelya Church faced the gravest act of terrorism in the history of Bulgaria. It was carried out on 16 April 1925, when a group of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) blew up the roof of the St. Nedelya Church. This occurred during the funeral service of General Konstantin Georgiev, who was killed in another Communist assault on 14 April. Tsar Boris III was expected to be in the church but he was a bit late. Over 190 people were killed in the church, mainly from the country's political and military elite, and around 500 were injured. After the assault the church’s restoration was assigned to architect Lazarov and painted by a team headed by N. Rostovtsev. The temple was officially sanctified on April 7 1933. Today the cathedral is one of the many spiritual pearls in Sofia, having long lasted history and keeping lots of spiritual treasures.

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