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The submerged church at the village of Zapalnia

The church of St. John of Rila (Ivan Rilski) was built by Tryavna craftsmen at the end of the 19th century in the former village of Zapalnya. In 1965, the village was submerged because of the newly built dam Zhrebchevo. Its inhabitants were ordered to tear down their houses and leave the village.  

The only intact building is the church. Because it is located on a hill, it remains partly above the surface of the water.  

In the summer, the level of the dam drops and exposes the building, but the water has marked the shell-covered facade.  

Due to its mystical, solitary beauty, the submerged church of Zhrebchevo Dam is a favorite site for photographers. 

Photo: Maria Stoeva

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