Great Martyr Saint George Church
THE ABANDONED CHURCH IN BULGARIA
This ‘Great Martyr Saint George Church’ or in Bulgarian ‘Церковь Святого Великомученика Георгия’ was built in 1898. Today the national monument is a ruin and church, and volunteers are searching for funds to eventually restore the church.
The unique 125-year-old ‘Great Martyr Saint George Church’ was built on the ruins of an older church. The village of Garmen is located in a hilly area near the valley of the Mesta River and the slopes of the Western Rhodopes.
In 1990 the church was declared a cultural monument of national importance. The last church service in the Revival Church, a cultural monument, was on Easter in 2003. Since then, the church has been neglected and progressively crumbling.
The interesting thing about this church were the interior and the iconostasis, but today all the icons are gone, and the interior was ruined when the roof collapsed some years ago.
The church is named after Saint George who died on 23 April 303, he was a Christian who is venerated as a saint in Christianity. According to tradition, he was a soldier in the Roman army. He was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He became one of the most venerated saints and megalomartyrs in Christianity. In Bulgaria, George’s day is celebrated on 6 May, when it is customary to slaughter and roast a lamb. George’s day is also a public holiday.
There are preparations made to save the constructions. The cleaning of the church grounds has begun, water and electricity have already been installed. The church is searching for funds to restore the building to its old glory. I visited this abandoned church on my road trip through Bulgaria in 2022.