Fodor's Expert Review Boyana Church
Boyana Orthodox Church is both a charming and fascinating medieval structure in the southern outskirts of Sofia, on the lower slopes of Mt. Vitosha—get here by bus 64 or 107, minibus 21, or take a taxi. The earliest part of the building, the east wing, was originally constructed in the late 10th or early 11th century. The central wing was added in the 13th century, and it was expanded again in the mid-19th century. But the church owes its global fame mainly to its frescoes, most of which were painted in 1259 by a local artist known simply as 'Vasily'. Recognizing the 89 scenes depicting 240 human images as one of the most complete and well-preserved examples of Eastern European mediaeval art, UNESCO awarded the building World Heritage status in 1979. The frescoes have been restored and cleaned several times in the last century and are worth making the effort to visit.