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The Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, BalchikCod 2004


The Church of St. Nicholas, the Wonderworker is a Reinaissance complex located in Balchik, consisting of a large white stone church, divided into three naves with private bell tower, similar to a lighthouse, a Renaissance school and agarden. It was declared a cultural monument.
After the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829 and the subsequent migration to Basarabia and return of a part of refugees, Bulgarians from different parts of the world settle in Balchik. In the 40s of this century the enriched Bulgarian community, with confidence and winning freedom, decided to built its own school and church in the Bulgarian neighborhood of the city – the “Gemidzhiska slums”. The initiative is strongly supported by Bishop Joseph of Varna – Bulgarian patriot of Seres – Aegean Macedonia. The most important contribution of the site to achieve spiritual and educational center has the Koyu Raicev a prominent Renaissance artist, born in Triavna in 1811, who led the existing Bulgarian municipality in Balchik. The first Bulgarian Renaissance church was built rogether with adjacent Bulgarian School in 1845 under the Rajchev Koyu’s trusteeship.
After the death of Bishop Joseph the new bishop became Porphyry, Greek by origin. Meanwhile Balchik starts to become the most important export port of Dobrogea and here arrive Greek merchants and agents from Grain houses. In 1847, in Balchik the Greek consul alos arrives in Balchik. The growing nationalism of the newly formed Greek state after the Turkish War in 1828-1829 is reflected using by using the Diocese in Constantinopole in fierce religious and cultural aggression against the indigenous population of Bulgaria. The Bishop Porphyry used his all power to expel from Balchik the reeve priest Ivan, who served in Bulgarian language and Stojko Ivanov the teacher in the Bulgarian school, the Slavic church books are sold to the church from Ezerets village, the Greek langugae is fraudulently introduced in the church service and teaching, the Bulgarian language and the school are captured in 1848 by Greeks and soon destroyed by fire. In this difficult moment, Koyu Rajchev has donated the Bulgarian municipality one of his buildings from Ayazmo suburb, close to the seashore. This building was transformed into a Bulgarian School. Three years later, in 1851, the leading Bulgarians in Balchik have managed to get firman from the Sultan for the church. This thing allows the school close the seashore to be transformed into a Bulgarian Chirch called “Holy Trinity”. In 1862 the Greeks manage to also defraud this Bulgarian church too, (on that place, opposite the port was built the “Marina City”).
As a result of persistent struggle led by Koyu Rajchev, in 1866 the church and the school were magnificently restored to their original place in “Gemidzhiyska” slums or so-called by K. Mrechek “Air Mahal” by master George Denyuv Kumanite village, Dryanovo. Petar Stoyanov was the painter from Kotel and the large icon of St. Spyridon was painted by Koycho Dosyuv fromTryavna.
Then within the church was also founded infiintata the mutual school, where Bel-Lancaster method was teached, also known as monitoring system. It was the first modern Bulgarian school for its time in Balchik. Today it is transformed into a museum.
A memorial plaque over the entrance to the church was put with the inscription: “Прiити блаже любой драже малое наше твоя отъ твоихъ приношенie сего ти храма въздвиженiе и даруй грЂховъ очищенiе благочестивымъ христолюбивымъ жителямъ Балчика болгарскаго языка.” Another one similar was made and later put on the Renaissance church and used as a model, church divided into three white stone naves – St. Haralambos built by Bulgarian from Shabla.
On the occasion of the 1300 years since the founding of the Bulgarian state, to south of the Danube, the Church St. Nicholas the “Wonderworker” and the modest building of the school are fully restored. In the church are preserved and exposed icons from all corners of Dobrogea. In the the garden of the church, the old stone Bulgarian cross is preserved, around which, in 2009, the trustees raise a fountain.



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