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Church of St. Paraskeva in Breze

The church was built in 1846. After the destruction of the old monastery near Breze (known as "St. Spas "), a long period of time the locals used Iskretski monastery. The daily Christian rites were performed at the votive places and the sacred crosses around the village. Judging by the big votive cross, situated in the churchyard (dedicated to St. Peter), it can be assumed that this place was consecrated long before the construction of the church.

There are several donors’ inscriptions on the wall of the church. The interior of the church is decorated two years after its construction in 1848 by the local painter Yanachko Stanimirov, known by his paintings in Iskretski monastery. His signature is missing in here but the locals still remember their fellow-villager painter.

In 1889 to the main church building is appended narthex so it can accommodate more worshipers.

Architecturally the church has one nave, apse, with narthex and shelter from the west. The roof is double sloped and the apse has independent coverage. The main entrance of the temple is from the west, but there is one more door on the south side of the nave. The construction is massive by stone mortared blocks.

Around the church except of the votive cross dedicated to St. Peter, which with its impressive size (its height is about 1.50 meters) is one of the biggest crosses in Western Bulgaria, there are others, smaller tombstone crosses, most of them placed on the graves of local priests. These crosses represent rare examples of Bulgarian plastic art, unnatural in the other areas. It is noteworthy that among them is located the cross of priest Galab Kitov "ПОПЪ ГЛЪПЪ КИТОВЪ" – the brother of abbot Kitov (1810-1904), known as abbot Gerasim in the monastery of Svoge.

Church of St. Paraskeva in Breze

DD 43.019231073952355 23.215070217847824

DMS N 43° 1' 9.232'' E 23° 12' 54.252''

See the hiking trail Breze - Zimevitsa - Zasele

The church is located southeast of the village on the road between Breze and neighborhood "The River". The access to the church is very easy but explanatory plaque is missing so it is advisable to use GPS or just to look for the turnoff situated in front of the church yard.

There is public transport to the village of Breze but the buses are few and uncomfortable. The easiest way to get there is by car, but the village can be reached as well as on foot starting from Iskrets. The hike is 4.50 km long and takes about one and half hour walking on asphalt road.

The church is located on the main road. Currently it is not open for visitors, but in the church yard could be seen very interesting Renaissance crosses, including the cross "St. Apostle Peter", which impresses with its size. Northeast of the church is situated sacred spring, which according to legend is healing.

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Copyright © SVOGE Heritage Program
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