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“The Assumption of Mary” Church, KilifarevoCod 2590

There are two churches in Kilifarevo – ” Saint Michael the Archangel” and “St. Mary” (“The Assumption of Mary”). One of them is located in the Upper Neighbourhood – ” Saint Michael the Archangel”, which is its only parish, and the other is the church from the “Lower Neighbourhood”- “The Assumption of Mary” Church.
In 1518 after the church “St. Michael” burned, at the eastern end of the village a small wood church was built by the inhabitants of Kilifarevo “The assumption of Mary” (“St. Mary”).
In 1835 it was demolished and the local masons built it again during only one summer. Above the door is engraved the construction year – 1835. The outside eastern wall (the altar) above a blind arcade (average height plates, which are built with lime and not very visible), was carved and filled with a black paint inscription that says: “Master Stoycho Ugoryalkov 1835„. He was the head of the construction site.
According to the legend the Sultan ordered the Church to be built deep down in the ground and only 2.50 m above the ground for the roof. Stoycho elevated the building with another 2 m. After it was finished the Turkish saw it and informed Tărnovo kaymakamin. The eminent patriot was exiled in Anatolia because he violated the Sultan’s order but the energetic intervention of the old men in Kilifarevo, the substantial bribe paid to the kaymakamin and other assistants, as well as the intervention of influent Turkish people, saved the brave master.
The oldest icons in the church at that time, most small size, date back in 1836-1837. The largest are painted 3-4 years before the construction of the church. Some of them are named after the famous painters from Tryavna, Peter Krastev Zaharievich, Simeon Simeonov. The iconostasis itself is made of walnut wood painted dark brown during the rehabilitation. Only the “royal doors” (central altar doors) are gold plated.
The sculpture from the iconostasis also is the work of the master carpenters from Tryavna school. In the women section of the church are kept very old icons dating back in the 14th century probably. It is possible that the magnificent silver glass for the communion dates back from the building of the church, having the names of the donors marked on it but without the manufacturing year. A lot of old artefacts are kept: old massive silver crosses with refined decorations, with filigree and embossed inserts of coloured stones; five magnificent domes, forming a small church, gifts (Russian work) also transferred from Russia, silver cross and others. The feast day of the church and the village’s day are both on August 15th, Old Calendar (28 – New Calendar), when it is celebrated the “Assumption of St. Mary” also called ” Virgin Mary “.

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