Hi, Architecture+Design Community!
That's my first post here and today I want to show you a religious building that recently impressed me.
In fact, this is the last place I visited, only a few days ago this week, after so many months of inability to travel.
And I was really impressed with it.
As someone who has visited hundreds of churches, both Catholic and Orthodox, in my lifetime, I would say that there are not many new constructions and designs that could draw my attention. Not to mention in my own country. But apparently, I wasn't right.
Because the Holy Spirit Chapel, or Spiritus Sanctus Chapel which construction began in 2011 and was consecrated and open to visitors in 2018, is one such site.
This chapel is a modern structure built entirely with donations on an ancient and probably sacred site of a Roman fortress from the I-II century.
The fortress itself is called Holy Spirit because of the very important chapel of the same name that once existed here. And that once gathered the local population from the settlement at the foot of the hill in which it was built.
This settlement is today called Mineralni Bani, or literally translated as Mineral Baths - a spa village in Haskovo Province in Central Southern Bulgaria.
But history is history, and it has already passed, and this chapel has a new and modern construction that amazes with its compactness and design.
I admire Spanish Romanesque religious architecture and also Baroque architecture. And the Orthodox religious architecture is almost completely "clear", almost the same, except for some churches in Bulgaria with mysterious, still unsolved frescoes, or beautifully painted and decorated churches from the 19th century.
In any case, taking pictures in such churches is completely forbidden, about which annoying problem I already wrote once on the Hive blockchain.
And here we do not have this problem - the Holy Spirit Chapel is open, the entrance is completely accessible and there is no one to lurk and chase visitors if they take out a camera or phone. Which is strange, since I had even stopped attending Orthodox churches because of the inability to take pictures of the interior. Sometimes of the outside too.
Here one can enjoy in peace the beautiful mural paintings.
That's the altar:
Image of St. George slaying the dragon:
Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki:
Image of Saint John the Baptist:
And this is the element, internal and external, that actually impressed me the most in this church:
The place intended in ordinary churches for a bell tower is glazed here in an unusual way.
On the inside hangs this beautiful chandelier:
and on the outside is placed this huge, disproportionately long cross:
There are no stained glass windows to decorate the building. And as is traditional in Orthodox architecture, the glass is clean and simple.
But I guess you will admit that despite the lack of such decorations, there is something else that makes this church so special and beautiful. Something even I can't sense.
This is a frame with the remains of the walls of the Roman fortress:
And a rear view of the building:
In fact, what is most annoying, and what always irritates me, is that there is no information about this building. Nowhere. The officially announced information about it is only the following - construction began in 2011 and in 2018 the church was consecrated. Nothing more. And I have to be content with that. Which is not easy.
As someone who has had a blog about specific and special historical sites about which I have extracted information from historical magazines, these two dates are not enough. But I have to put up with that fact.
So, that was for now. I hope you liked this place or you are at least a little impressed, at least a part of the degree to which I was impressed.