Church St. George Rotunda, Sofia

4.4
Hear priests chant in the old Slavic language and sing Byzantine music while performing the daily liturgy at Church St. George Rotunda. The Romans built the red-brick rotunda--the oldest building in Sofia--in the fourth century CE, presumably on the site of a pagan temple. A modern hotel was built around the church in the 1950s, and in the courtyard you can see the contrast between the opulence of the huge hotel and the humility of the small church. The church is famous for its 12th- to 14th-century frescoes. Twenty-two large figures of prophets crown the central dome around the image of Christ. As you exit the church, wander around the neighboring ruins of the ancient town of Serdika. Plan my Sofia trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.
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Church St. George Rotunda Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,628 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Being one of the oldest buildings in Sofia this church was on my 'to do' lists. The ruins are down a very slippery metal staircase and unfortunately the area is used by dog walkers. The Church.....  more »
  • If you visit this on the free walking tour you find out the history behind this hidden gem. Highly recommend the tour.  more »
  • This church is among the archaeological diggings in the middle of Sofia. Well worth walking through all the diggings and see how people are saving their history.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful on the outside and absolutely worthwhile walking to. The inside would've been more interesting and pleasant if it hadn't been for the overwhelming number of tourist aimed items on sale. Looked like a market instead of a church
  • Seeing many great attractions in Sofia, giving me the feeling of coming back to old age. This Church just one of many places that you will simply amazed with how rich not only by history but also their architecture. You can see from thus church how old it can be, how much history it has. Definitely a must see when you’re in Sofia.
  • Impressive construction, allegedly the oldest surviving in the city, right next to a few of the ruins of the old city of Serdica. It is less impressive on the interior as much of the fresco work has been destroyed. Entrance is free but photos are not allowed. To be honest there isn't even that much to photograph inside other than the overloaded souvenirs shop which takes away a lot of the magnificence of the church. Really sad they did this, I would gladly pay even a large fee to see the church for what it is than to see so much kitsch in a holy place
  • A very old curch in Byzantine style hidden by modern buildings in Russian style.
  • Not far from Presidency(Residency of President of Bulgaria) is this oldest architectural monument of St George’s Rotunda church. It’s the oldest building in Sofia, few meters below the street level. Built using red bricks all around, it was built during 4th century by Romans when Sofia (then was called Serdica) was the residence to the emperor Constantine the great. It has transformed over the centuries to what it is now an Orthodox Church. The inner central dome was discovered to have three layers of frescoes, only rediscovered during 20th century. The church was coupled by Ottomans and converted to a mosque but was abandoned by Muslims and was reclaimed by the Christians in the late 18/19th centuries. One of the beautiful frescoe you see today were the 22 prophets painted round the central dome. You are not allowed to take pictures inside the church but luckily I was given permission for few pictures.
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