Podcast in English
Text size
Bulgarian National Radio © 2024 All Rights Reserved

On Saint Dimitar’s Day in the village of Teshovo in Pirin Mountain

Oh, wise Demetrius, do not forget us, pray for us...!‎

Photo: Facebook /Teshovo
The Orthodox Christians look today at the image of St. Demetrius (Sveti Dimitar in Bulgarian) with ‎faith in his heavenly intercession. On October 26, the Orthodox Church honors the great Christian ‎martyr born in Thessaloniki.

The name of Saint Demetrius is connected with the ‎history of the Bulgarian people. In 1185, during the two centuries of Byzantine oppression, the boyar brothers Asen and Peter announced in Tarnovgrad that they ‎no longer recognized the Byzantine authority. This happened on October 26 - the ‎holiday of the St. Demetrius Church that they built. With the help of the ‎saint, the struggle for independence had a successful end - in the spring of ‎‎1187, the Byzantine emperor signed a peace treaty that recognized the authority ‎of Assen and Peter over Northern Bulgaria, which put the start of the history of the ‎Second Bulgarian Kingdom.
The respect to St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki is ‎widespread in the Balkans, as many churches in Bulgaria bear the name of ‎the saint, depicted in the icons as a warrior on a red horse, piercing with his ‎spear the general who was destroying the believers in Christ.‎

The church of Saint Demetrius in the village of Teshovo, hidden among the ‎southern slopes of Pirin, welcomes the faithful believers for the holiday with shining ‎frescoes, after a long restoration and conservation.‎

The church complex was built in the period 1843-1844 on the site of an older ‎Orthodox temple which probably existed from the 8th-9th century. The ‎consecration of the church took place on Saint Demetrius Day in 1871 and to this day ‎the holiday is the most important event in the life of the village. ‎

The Saint Demetrius Church is a three-nave pseudo-basilica with a semicircular ‎apse. The built dome visually increases the interior space ‎and the light entering ‎it, and the acoustics of the church is remarkable.‎

The rich wall paintings are interesting in terms of drawing and plot - apart from the ‎traditional biblical scenes, they depict historical memories of the former ‎greatness of Bulgaria. It is the work of the painter Mino and his two sons ‎Marko and Teofil from the Bundovtsi family from the village of Karakoi ‎‎(today's Greece). ‎

The monumental iconostasis is in three orders - royal, festive and prophetic. ‎The wood carving impresses with fine figures and braids, masterfully ‎carved from walnut wood. The built-in icons are of exceptional artistic value - ‎most of them are the work of Dimitar Molerov-Molera, a prominent ‎representative of the Bansko School of Art. ‎

The iconostasis of Saint Demetrius Church in Teshovo

The magnificent church plays a decisive role in the preservation of spirituality ‎in Teshovo. And although the village is located in one of the most remote ‎corners of Bulgaria, and the remaining some 100 Teshovo residents living there today are elderly, ‎the church enjoys great attention and care.‎

Every year on October 26, Saint Demetrius Day attracts guests from the entire South-‎Western part of Bulgaria, but also from more distant corners of the country, ‎even from neighboring Greece. According to the legend, whoever is sick and ‎spends the night in the temple before the holiday, is healed by Saint Demetrius and ‎the trust has been preserved to this day.‎

Read also:

Photos: Elena Karkalanova, Facebook/Teshovo

Editing by Elena Karkalanova

Published by Rositsa Petkova

Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

More from category

Exhibition sheds light on the life of the revolutionary Georgi Benkovski

An exhibition of priceless artefacts from Bulgaria's history will be on show at the Etar open-air ethnographic museum near Gabrovo from March 1 to 5 . Visitors will find the exposition in the largest building of the ethnographic complex, which is..

published on 3/1/24 6:45 AM

Christians honor the memory of Saint Seraphim of Sofia

A service in the Russian church "St. Nikolay Mirlikiyski“ solemnly honored the memory of Saint Seraphim of Sofia. The service was led by Bishop Gerasim of Melnik in collaboration with priest Vladimir Tishchuk and priests from the..

published on 2/26/24 4:21 PM

Veliko Tarnovo History Museum pays homage to the memory of the Apostle with a host of initiatives

With several initiatives, the Regional History Museum in Veliko Tarnovo is commemorating 151 years since the death of the Apostle. "Levski in our hearts" is the theme of the educational initiative "Museum in a Suitcase", which visited schools and..

published on 2/18/24 5:10 AM