The Park

The Boyana Church and its adjacent territory (nowadays a fenced park) are protected cultural property in Sofia, Bulgaria. The design of the modern park started sometime between 1905 and 1908 with the planting of three giant North American sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum), which are still remarkable. This was done personally by the Bulgarian monarch Ferdinand I of Bulgaria in 1907/1908 (prince: 1887 – 1908 and king: 1908 – 1918) in the old churchyard, which was used as a graveyard for centuries. Around that time, the residents of the village of Boyana wanted to demolish the Boyana Church, of which only the second floor (of the exonarthex and the chapel) was in use for religious purposes. A new larger church was to replace it. King Ferdinand’s second wife, Queen Eleonora of Bulgaria (1908 – 1917), saved it by providing the villagers in 1912 with another plot of land. According to the will of the royal family, the development of the beautiful small park around the Boyana Church continued, mainly with local plant species.

Queen Eleonora was buried next to the church at her request after she died in 1917. The cross and tombstone were taken away in the 1960s upon order of the Bulgarian communist authorities. They were put back approx. 30 years later, after the end of the socialist period in Bulgaria (1944-1989). In 2021, the inscription on the tombstone was completely restored.

Nowadays, the park occupies an approximate area of 6,800 square meters. In addition to the Boyana Church, there are four more buildings for administrative and economic use.