A postcard from Sofia
Is it ever OK to be late? It’s something I try my very best to avoid, but occasionally it can be a good thing, as in the case of Boris III of Bulgaria.
This is the Hagia Nedelja church. The previous church on this spot was destroyed in a terrorist plot in 1925 to assassinate the king, Boris III. He was attending the funeral service of General Konstantin Georgiev, who had been killed in an assault two days previously, on 14 April of that year. The group from the Bulgarian Communist Party knew that in killing such a high powered general they would ensure that a funeral would be held here, in the city’s most important church, and would be attended by all the VIPs, including the king. So they plotted to blow up the church’s roof during the service. The king survived, however, having arrived late for the ceremony, but around 200 innocent people were killed.
The church that stands here today was built between 1927 and 1933, but is just the last of several to occupy the site. The first was a wooden church, probably built in the 10th century and remaining wooden right through to the middle of the 19th century, unlike most other churches in the city. Its stone replacement was opened in 1867 and renovated in 1898, with new domes being added. It is that church that was blown up by the terrorist group; this is, as I said, its replacement.
Gift N. T.
I feel bad for the other people and I can’t help feeling chills run down my spine at how the one person they wanted to assassinate, escaped. By being late at that. He was lucky.
It’s the same with most acts of terrorism, isn’t it – the innocent suffer as much as, or more than, the intended target.
Such an interesting story about how the previous church was destroyed … Boris III can count his lucky stars!
He could indeed, but not the unfortunate 200 people killed in the explosion 😒
An interesting and dramatic history for this church. Thanks, Sarah!
Glad you found this interesting, thanks Jane 😊
What a beautiful church!
Sofia is full of interesting churches (and a mosque and a synagogue) I’ll share more photos over the next few weeks and you’ll find that this is among the plainer ones!
An interesting bit of history- ruthless times!
Indeed they were.
An unsettling story in unsettling times.
Very true – a lucky escape for Boris but the same can’t be said of the 200 who died in the attack.
Indeed. That’s the worst of these terrorist attacks.
Mike and Kellye Hefner
Beautiful church and a nice bit of a history lesson to go along with it. Thank you for the postcard, Sarah!
You’re welcome 😀 Now I’m travelling more again I hope to ‘send’ at least one postcard from each place I visit!
Mike and Kellye Hefner
I will look forward to seeing them! Safe travels.
Ah so there’s been a Boris that gots things right then….albeit inadvertently.