Patron-saint of the church is Saint Ivan Rilski, a holy protector and defender of the Bulgarian people, whom many proclaim to be one of the most significant national leaders. He lived in the times of Tsar Simeon the Great and Peter I; legends say that he performed many miracles, healed serious illnesses and helped people in need. When Tsar Peter himself went to see him, he refused to meet him out of humility and did not accept the gold which the tsar offered.
The “St. Ivan Rilski” church is one of the most beautiful ones in the city. It was solemnly opened on 1 April 1934. In 1951 the old wooden bell tower was replaced by a new one which is now located to the left of the church entrance. The bell tower houses four differently sized bells, the largest one of which weighs 100 kg, the second largest 60 kg and the other two weigh 40 kg each. The iconostasis was prepared during the building process. It’s 3m high and 11.5m long. During the sanctification of the church, a piece of the remains of St. Martyr Vakh was integrated in the Holy Throne. The church is where many couples choose to wed and give their eternal vows.
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