The Cathedral of St Alexander Nevski in Sofia.
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Built to celebrate the liberation of Bulgaria from centuries of Ottoman domination, the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevski in Sofia has aroused only scant interest among art historians both inside and outside the country. In recent years, the general disinterest surrounding this monument can be ascribed to the political climate in Bulgaria after the Second World War; for almost half a century the militant atheism of the Communist regime stifled the religious feelings of the Bulgarian people, forcing believers underground. Consequently, under pressure from the regime, religious works of art and places of worship fell into neglect. In view of this void, the aim of my research was to document as completely as possible all the various aspects of the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevski. I then traced the history of Bulgaria, starting from the Ottoman conquest and focusing particularly on the period of the Bulgarian Renaissance, which led the country, with the help of Russia, to freedom from the Turkish Empire and then to independence. I hope that this study will shed a glimmer of light on this splendid building and help to stimulate interest in Bulgaria's artistic heritage.
Inferno: Journal of Art History Vol. 9 Article 4 2004
Previously in the University eprints HAIRST pilot service at http://eprints.st-andrews.ac.uk/archive/00000393/Article 4 of 6 in an issue devoted to the visual culture of South Eastern Europe
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