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The Medieval Church “Holy Ascension”, ChiprovtsiCod 2167


The medieval church “Holy Ascension” is located on a hill above the center of Chiprivtsi between Chiprovtsi and Martinovski river. There is evidence that this hill was once fortified place and there were walls of monastery. In the some places, north of the church was built between XIII-XV century and the Catholic church “Santa Maria”, destroyed after the defeat of the Chiprovo’s uprising in 1688 and founded around 20 years later. Information before the uprising was erected and the Orthodox church “Sv.Vaznesenie” . For this evidence preserved stone upper door post it on which is carved the inscription: “AD 1672 (Anno Domini 1672).
What happened to the ruined church of Chiprovtsi in 1688, must be remembered that the suppression of the rebellion was committed by a Hungarian ally, by Emeric Tekeli, a Turkish commander, who was sworn as an enemy of Catholicism. Perhaps he has totally destroyed the church nearby the Catholic church “Santa Maria” and the orthodox one is less damaged. It is not known when he restored its ruined part, but since then the inhabitants revolt was extended around this value and from far came, to these places, new settlers until the early eighteenth century. It is possible that the temple was rebuilt then. In the subsequent period (sec. XIX) The Church has received also outbuildings and a spacious narthex.
” St. Ascension of the Lord” is very special in its plan, and there was more interest from the part of other churches throughout the region, built at that time. It is a basilica with two domes, of which one is asymmetric. The Church without pronaos is 14 meters long and 5.80 meters wide and the wall thickness is different. It is built of stone and mortar. It is noteworthy a difference on some of the details which are peculiar: arcade with straightened inner niches, inside the apse is not ball curved and dr. Vsichko suggests that, the architecture of this church is quite gothic “borrowed”, mechanically transferred from a nearby Catholic church “St. Mary”. Such borrowings have also other Orthodox churches in the area, as it was done, for example, in the “St. Trinity” near Chiprovci.
The interior of the temple is decorated with frescoes of a later period, probably when the narthex was added. They are the work of Daniel Shtipliyata and the painted altar icons are kept since1869 and the icon of St. Mary is painted in the 1847 by Gjergj Gabrovian Tiholov. The church exists since 1834 judging by the inscription on a stone candlestick. Both exterior apses are built of stone with inscriptions from ancient years, the oldest is carved on an apse, the inscription having two parts: “In year z.r.p.e. (1677) at Nedeljko Nikolovy Cygne ..” and “Petry Mihailovy Metropolitan of Sofia, Vladika Danily 1677 “.
” St. Ascension of the Lord “is a beautiful example of continuity of the Bulgarian spirituality and culture during different eras. The overall monument is well restored and maintained.



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