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Church of St. George, OreshetsCod 2673

The church of “St. George” is located in the south and is the largest from Oreshets village, Haskovo, near the forest which covers areas the northern areas of the mountain. According to local tradition, the church was built in early nineteenth century on the foundations of an older temple.
There is also a legend about the origin of the church, with the following content :. “A shepherd lost his goat in the dense vegetation. After a long search he found it, and considered that place to be blessed, and then many people from other villages moved there and built a temple.” Today, during spring time there is a fountain, and again, according to the legend, the water that flows from the this fountain springs from the depths of the holy mountain.
Near the church is a way out of the cave, which is not unique [in this area, and is likely to be connected with other caves nearby. This spring water flows down off the mountain and disappears underground to the belfry of the church.
In 1973 the church of “St. George” was declared a cultural monument of local importance. Under communist regime, the church was transformed by the locals into a barn. The fate of these people who desecrated the holy place was fierce. Some of them were sick with cancer and died quickly and the others died in accidents. Years passed forgetting the temple, and this one began to erode gradually and reached in a very unfortunate state observed until recently. But thanks to the noble initiative launched by the locals, who have created a new church council in the recent years, the sanctuary began a new life. Architecturally, the church is a building with a nave and an apse with a narthex to the west. The apse is semicircular inside and out, and quite deep, which is typical for churches in northwestern Bulgaria. The vault is cylindrical, but cracked and must be repaired urgently. The church is covered with tile. The building is of massive masonry, a building of limestone blocks. Northen wall is reinforced by three buttresses.The inside of the temple is covered with mural paintings, some of them quite damaged. The painting was executed in 1866 by masters from Tryavna, as understood from the inscription over the door from left. In the inscription are listed the names of the painters, as it appears the name of Vitan Georgyuv Nikolov (1850-1916 AD), the nephew of Pope Vitan – founder of Art School Trevneskiyat. Along with the painters are, also information about the builder, the craftsman Veljko Kr. Jovanov from Bulgaria and Jablanica Debar, who made the bell and floors. The painting is very colorful (the colors are bright, dominates the Turkish blue) and the numbers give life. Scene with Christ that are not arranged in chronological order, Christ himself is huge, disproportionate. Were painted also donkeys and a cow that shows not only the typically realism sought in those days, but also the naivety, sincerity in the illustration of the Bible. At the height of the arch is painted Christ Pantocrator surrounded by medallions with images of the apostles. The compositions of the vault along with God, form a hexagonal star. Impressive, in contrast to other murals are images of the sun (on the northern wall) and the moon (on the southern wall), which are painted with bright colors and are facing east. They represent the beliefs of the pre-Christian world.
The veil of the temple was carved, but unfortunately none of the the original texts have not been preserved. What has survived is the Crucifixion (head and crown) from the top of the altar wall socket, and the canonical images of scenes from the Old Testament Adam and Eve. The church complex, which in addition to the temple includes a bell tower, the remains of the former school-church and the cemetery, are surrounded by a wall of limestone.

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