Archeologists unearth church from 6th century near Gabrovo


An early Byzantine church, 20 by 10 meters in size, made from rock blocks and brick layers, with a floor lined with ceramic tiles has been discovered by archaeologists. It has two entrances on the south and west sides and an interesting altar section, as it had benches where clergymen were sitting, as well as a bishop's throne in the central place, Professor Hitko Vachev said. He added that a small chamber was found under the altar, in which the relics of a saint had probably been stored, but unfortunately were not preserved. It is clear from the overall architecture of the temple that this was an episcopal church, dating back to the sixth-century as coins from that time were discovered during works. Prof. Hitko Vachev and his assistant Philip Petrunov from the National Archaeological Institute with Museum at BAS studied the site in June and July in connection with the construction of the road towards the planned tunnel under Shipka. Archaeologists say that the church is well documented and would not prevent the construction of the road.

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