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The Church ”Bashovishka”, Oreshets, HaskovoCod 2670


Bashovishka medieval church is located about three kilometers from the church of “St. George” in Oreshets, Haskovo, in “Bashevitsa”, near the road to Belograd. Located on the left bank of the river Skomlyanska at the foot of the mountain.
Today, this ancient temple is ruined, its walls in some places reach about 2m. The vegetation is too high and it is difficult to reach the place. In 1950, “the half-destroyed church” as described by the researcher D. Kozhuharov was kept until the canopy crashed. But in the 20s of XXth century. The church was almost entire. Then it was removed a stone threshold just above the door, and within the spring there was a large longitudinal fissure. The latter damages were not repaired in time, and ultimately, the church today is demolished.
Local people called the church “Latin” and the mountains on the southeast of it – “Zagorje the Wilderness”. In the church there was a cemetery since the Middle Ages, centuries ago. Old stone crosses are disclosed. Two of them have the same shape and are dated 1797, and another one with an antique look and bearing onto it an inscription dated 1711. According to local legends once upon a time there was also a cemetery, in Oreshets, Haskovo area, when the church was active.
Today no one knows who was the patron of the Bashovishka church, and nobody knows when it ceased to serve in it.
Architecturally, the church is a rectangular vessel with an apse with large narthex, later joined. Internal length of the vessel is of 5.70 meters and 3.85 meters wide. The depth of the apse is 1,95m and its width is of 3,05m. The ship was vaulted with a barrel vault, which began at 2m from the floor. The thickness of the is 0.95 m and the one of the apse is 0.83 m. Floor of the church was located at 0.65 m below ground level and is paved with stone slabs. It had an entrance from the west and was lit by three small windows, for ventilation (two on the south wall and one in the apse). The church has four niches located in the altar area, one of them on the north wall and in the northeastern corner is an ark.
Altar stone does not emerge clearly, it is probably buried under the rubble. The building of the church is of stone blocks and are used mortars and two wooden girdles. The building was covered with stone slabs.
Longitudinal walls of the narthex are adjacent to the ones of the ship and with a length of 11m. The width of the porch (narthex) of is five meters. Throughout the entire northern wall were nine rectangular niches and their purpose remains unknown. The construction of the narthex and of the ship also, is made from local travertine (limestone) with mortar, masonry, but it was not very strong. The lack of construction equipment in that period is evident.
Following an architectural analysis of the church were revealed very specific proportions, namely: the ratio of the breadth and length of the vessel is 2: 3; regarding the inner height of the ship the length is also 2: 3; sidewall thickness is ¼ of the breadth of the vessel interior; the apse depth is made equal to ½ of the breadth. All the major dimensions are related and come from a different one, and as a basic measure is the breadth of the vessel. All these signs speak of a high-quality equipment in order to bring the building up, which finds its equivalent in other churches built in the Bulgarian lands. Beshovichkata church is an analog of the church within the ground of the ossuary church Bachkovo “St. Petka” in Balsham, “St. John the Baptist” in Asenovgrad, the church Berende in Trapezitza from Veliko Tarnovo and others. The murals are reserved almost entirely to the 20s of the twentieth century. And other fragments of individual figures from the 50s have survived until today only in minor particles.
The entire interior of the church was covered with frescoes. The content belongs to this small mountain church and the placement of the church in the beautiful surroundings is similar to churches in Trapezitsa. The lower end of the walls was occupied by the base, above are the geometric ornaments, and then followed the full-length belt with figures of saints, warriors, saints in royal robes, donors and Church Fathers from the apse. Above this zone there was a frieze and above it, at the beginning of the vault undoubtedly were scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.The range of bright colors, the harmonic color and the red dominant color evoke tranquility and suggest the work of a more talented master of frescoes.
Has now been found that the frescoes from the vessel and apse were the work not only of different masters, but they belonged to different eras. Paintings inside the apse were executed earlier than those inside the nave. Colorful and stylistic frescoes from Bashovishka are a lot similar to the oldest frescoes of the Boyana Church.



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