Welcome to the website of the Boyana Church!

The Church “St. Nicholas and St. Pantaleon” (also “St. Nikola and St. Panteleimon”) in Boyana district, Sofia, or Boyana Church for short, is famous for its remarkable medieval frescoes, among which the remarkable images from 1259 of the sevastocratic couple Kaloyan and Desislava and of the Bulgarian ruling family of that time: tsar Constantine Tikh Asen (1257 – 1277) and empress consort (tsaritsa) Irene.

In the four spaces of the tripartite building are preserved frescoed layers created between the 11th-12th and 16th-17th centuries, with the largest area occupied by frescoes from 1259.  South of the church is buried Tsaritsa Eleonora of Bulgaria (1908 – 1917), second wife of Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria (Knyaz: 1887 – 1908 and Tsar: 1908 – 1918) and  savior of the Boyana Church in the early twentieth century when it was in danger of being destroyed. The park around the church was created at the tsar’s initiative in the early twentieth century and is remarkable for its giant sequoias.

The Boyana Church was declared a national antiquity, protected by the state in 1927 and remained an active parish church until 1954. In 1979 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List under the protection of UNESCO under No. 42, and since 2003 the cultural property has been a branch of the National History Museum.

The Boyana church reopened for visitors after a decade-long restoration in 2006 and since then has become one of the most visited sights in the Bulgarian capital with over 200 000 visitors a year.

  • The texts of the articles with the indicated author are subject to copyright and all rights to them are reserved by the authors.
  • The 360-degree panorama from the chapel is copyright © National History Museum & Balkan Heritage Foundation, Author: Miglena Raykovska
  • All other 360-degree panoramas are copyright © National Museum of History, Author: Todor Dimitrov
  • Unless otherwise stated, the images on this website are created by Anton Chalakov and Miglena Raykovska and published by the National History Museum and the Balkan Heritage Foundation under a Creative Commons license – CC BY-NC-ND ( Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives).

This allows users to share, i.e. copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. If they comply with the terms of the license, the licensor cannot revoke these freedoms. The license is subject to the following conditions:

  • Attribution – You must give appropriate credit as follows CC BY-NC-ND National History Museum & Balkan Heritage Foundation, Photographs by Anton Chalakov & Miglena Raykovska, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • NonCommercial – You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • NoDerivatives – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.