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The Catholic Church, RuseCod 2302

The “Saint Paul of the Cross” Church is a Romano-Catholic Church in Ruse, Bulgaria, dedicated to Passionists Order – Saint Paul of the Cross. The patron is the cathedral of the Catholic Diocese from Nikopol. The first stone of the church was laid in 1890. Despite the efforts of the Bishop, Ippolito Agosto, the funds raised (mostly from abroad) have been enough to raise the churh’s walls  only, at 1 meter from the ground. At that time, the bishop has been met with Henry the Sweet himself – a French passionist from a rich and noble family, who had many rich friends. With his help, in 1892, the church was completed, in neo-Gothic style, cu with the bell tower of 31 meters. The project belongs to the Italian architect Valentino Dell’Antonio from Moena (who also designed the Catholic Church in Varna).

Ippolito Agosto died in Belene on 4 of December 1983, and Father Henri the Sweet became the new bishop of the Diocese in Nikopol.

During the reign of Henri the Sweet, the Catholic Cathedral from Ruse has been endowed with a beautiful workmanship wooden altars and the necessary furniture in Gothic style that came from Bohemia..

Beautiful stained glass art were made by master artist Sandor from Budapest, Hungary.

The drawings have a French nuance – the French King baptism – Charles le Grand. The stained glass portray: the French heroine St. Joan of Arc, scenes from the life of Christ, images of the apostles Peter and Paul, o saint Anton from Padova, saint Gabriel of Mother of Sorrows, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Stephen of Hungary, the founder of Passionist Fathers Congregation – sf. Paul of the Cross, and also of brothers Cyril and Methodius, the Enlightenment scholars of the Slavic peoples.

The cathedral is a rare specimen of gothic architecture (neo-Gothic brick) in Bulgaria..

The oldest preserved pipe organ in Bulgaria is in the cathedral and was mounted here in 1907. It has a romantic sound and it has the only air duct brought from Southeast Europe.

The pipe organ belongs to pipe organs builder “Voit” from Karlsruhe, and it is one of the few whici survived the Second World War. The pipe organ leaflet says that it was built in Gothiv style, according to the structure of the Catehdral.

The first concert in the Russian Catholic Church was held in the presence of Russian population in July, 1908.

In 1977, during the earthquake in Vrancea, the instrument was heavily damaged, and since 1992, has been completely neglected. It was restored in 2004 by Gerhard Walkel-Maier.




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