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Medieval Church St George

      St. George Church is situated in the southwestern part of Kyustendil, in the neighbourhood of Kolusha (the medieval village of Kolasia). It is the most ancient preserved medieval church in Kyustendil. According to its architectural features and the recently discovered medieval frescoes, the church dates back to 10th-11th centuries. It is believed that this is the oldest church on the Balkan Peninsula.


      It is assumed that the grave of the Bulgarian Tsar Mihail III Shishman, who was killed in the battle of Velbazhd in 1330, might be here. In the 19th century the church was destroyed by the Ottomans. It is suggested that painters from Thessaloniki took part in the creation of the paintings. The frescoes in the vaulted part were painted by masters from the school of Ivan Dospevski in Samokov. In 1878-1880 the church was reconstructed.


      The church is a representative of the rarely seen cross dome churches of metropolitan type. The medieval frescoes are rare records carrying the typical features of the stately Byzantium art of painting in Bulgaria. The frescoes from the Revival period expand our knowledge about the Bulgarian church art of painting from that period.


      The church has been declared an architectural and art monument of national significance.


      Experts are categorical that the church is an unique object with unique wall paintings. You can’t see a preserved object of that kind neither in Greece nor in Serbia. It has interweaved the history of more than tree countries for millennia. 


      Location: Neighbourhood of Kolusha, Kyustendil

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Do you know that:

  • During the period 1371-1395 Kyustendil was the capital of Velbuzhd’s region.
  • first Bulgarian publisher, Yakov Kraikov, was born in Kyustendil.
  • the house of Prokopiev is the oldest preserved house of the period of Bulgarian National Revival in Kyustendil.