Medieval church in Mecha poliana



The church is located on the northern edge of the small village. The building is dug into a rocky south-facing slope. Its north wall is rising only about 50 centimeters above the surface.

The eastern part of the church is a distinct separate building, which probably is the earliest. Preserved is the entrance (now included in the interior of the church) with arched niche above it designed for the icon-Patron (now completely depersonalized). From the south and the east this early church is equipped with narrow high openings (windows) that are currently bricked up so in the eastern part of the building did not penetrate light.

This early building is distinguished by its architectural details - well shaped socle, cornices and thresholds such items the later west extension does not possess. The apse, which also belongs to the early church, is slightly protruding and low. On the inside the altar is formed by two arched niches which flank the apse.

The western part is built in the same technique as the earliest church. It differs with its greater width. Its length is also twice bigger than the earlier building. Due to the destruction of the roof the southern wall is repaired with primitive construction of poles and rods, coated with clay. This upgrade includes also three wooden windows. With the same primitive technique is "restored" as well as the western facade of the building.

Still, it is worth attention the effort to preserve the temple, which is obviously done with less money, but carefully and with appropriate reverence that this antiquity deserves. The "improvised" repairs of the church should be preserved for future generations as an example of historical memory and invaluable testimony to the pure Christian faith. Even now, despite the feeling of neglect and abandonment, every visitor will find a box at the altar with candles what keeps the church alive and shows the esteem of locals to this old temple.

To the south and west of the church are visible remnants of a stone fence. North of the building are scattered old tombstone crosses, which are now heavily overgrown with vegetation and difficult to identify. At certain places are readable the years 1900, 1910, etc. Apparently the crosses are removed from some old cemetery, which has ceased to exist at the beginning of the 20 century, which in turn suggests the date of the reparation when the building was elongated by twice greater extension to the west. Probably the crosses were removed from the site, which was set for the construction of the new building.





Medieval church in Mecha poliana


DD 43.01536 23.27954

DMS N 43° 0' 55.296'' E 23° 16' 46.344''

Distance: 6,96 км

Maximum slope: 36,4%, -24,3%

Altitude: 527, 798, 1029 м

GPS track: Iskrets - Mecha poliana

See the hiking trail Iskrets - Mecha poliana



The pedestrian route to the village of Mecha Poliana follows an old Ottoman path that starts on the west side of the Sanatorium for lung diseases "King Ferdinand I". The starting point can be reached by car (a rehabilitation hospital has convenient parking), but also by public transport - train to the town of Svoge and shuttle buses to Iskrets to the bus stop "Sanatorium".

From the bus stop "Sanatorium" it takes the asphalt road, located to the left side of the entrance of the Sanatorium. After about 200 meters the asphalt road turns sharply to the left, while straight starts the old Ottoman road leading to the villages of Dobarchin and Mecha Poliana.The road is covered with gravel, about four meters wide and well maintained. It continues straight about 800 meters (after about 750 m it is a deviation to the left, which is bypassed). From here the road turns in the opposite direction and enters the territory of the sanatorium.

In the park of Sanatorium the gravel pavement is replaced with cobblestones. The road follows the east direction and after about 300 meters leaves the Sanatorium. From here starts again the old road covered with gravel. After 350 meters there is a new junction, where left path should be taken.

From here, over 1.3 km it follows the main road, which has a constant uphill gradient. It reaches to the new junction where again the left path should be taken - following a fairly steep stretch. The path brings to the houses in the neighborhood Lilashkovtsi of the village of Dobarchin.

The road in the village is clearly defined, despite many turns and detours. It turns eastward and leaves the village after reaching the ridge of the first peak, where it makes a sharp turn to the north.

From here starts a transition on a road cut in a steep slope with continuous climb that takes about 1800 m. It reaches a place where the road makes a U-turn, crossing the creek “Siristna”. At this point in the past there was a fountain with many beds - now dry and overgrown with vegetation.

From the turn after the fountain the road goes west and enters the extremely beautiful valley, closed between the high slopes of the Ponor Mountains. The road is flat and takes straight to the village, which consists of several houses (most of them abandoned long time ago). At its center is situated well maintained fountain from which starts a narrow street leading to the church.