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Orthodox Church St. Paraskeva Petka

REF NR: 1758

The construction of the Church of St. Paraskeva–Petka (known to most of the Varna folk as only St. Petka) began in 1901. A stone taken out during the turning of the first sod and consecrated by Metropolitan Bishop Simeon, has found a permanent display in the church today. With its construction completed in 1906, the church was inaugurated much later by Metropolitan Bishop Joseph. History has kept no records of where the funds for raising the temple had come, yet well-to-do citizens of Varna are believed to have donated the money.
Unlike some other churches in Varna, St. Paraskeva-Petka has never suffered a destruction of any kind. Although it was built in the beginning of 20th c., it was not decorated till as late as 1973, and within that period, it welcomed the visitors with its walls whitewashed only. It took the painters Demeter Bakalski and Sergei Rostovtsev one year (1972 – 1973) to complete the portraits of the saints, and the standard church ornamentation was the deed of the master-painter Alexander Sorokin.
One cannot say for certain when exactly the first church service took place, yet it is known that services had been performed before the actual inauguration of the church.
The eternal fight between good and evil is the main motif of the church iconostasis. The two dragons having their heads bowed before the crucifix, and the dove, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, represent God’s mercy, kindness and justice.
A church extension was built in 1928 to serve the purpose of a communal kitchen for orphans and homeless, war refugees and other poor folk till as late as 1945, when communist regime came into power. Nowadays, it is used as the church baptistery.
Surrounded by the greenery of a small hush park, the beautiful church of St. Paraskeva-Petka is one of the most revered and beloved places of worship in Varna.