THE BOBOSHEVO MONASTERY ,,ST. DIMITER”

The Boboshevo monastery is situated in the foot of Ruen Mountain, a few kilometers above the village of Boboshevo. It is believed that it has existed since the 9th c when Ivan Rilski became a monk in it and received his initial schooling. Passing through the turns of time, the monastery is preserved and is among the oldest in the country.
Naturally the patron of the monastery is St. Dimiter – a saint-warrior, one of the most respected Orthodox saints connected with Bulgaria’s struggle for freedom as early as the uprising against the Byzantines in 1186. Probably the monastery was destroyed during the Ottoman invasion in the end of the 14th c and was restored a hundred years later. The church built at that time is preserved. It has one nave, a semi-cylindrical arch and is partially hidden in the ground, with a square naos and a small narthex. The architectural plan is simplified because of the Turkish prohibition on Christian ritual buildings.
An inscription above the entrance indicates that the mural paintings were done by priest Neofit and his sons Dimiter and Bogdan and date from 1488. The images on the walls and the arch of the church are characteristic of the temples built after a long disruption of tradition. They follow the canons of mediaeval Bulgarian painting but are rather simplified and the strokes are uncouth but graceful. There are some realistic elements from the life of ordinary people. The lost tradition was replaced by the imagination of the artist.
The patron of the church St. Dimiter is painted in several places and there are the well-known scenes of the sufferings of Christ. Very interesting is the scene of ,,Doomsday” preserved in the narthex.
The mural paintings in the ,,St. Dimiter” church come very close to those in the old church of the Dragalevtsi monastery. Both monuments have their important place in the development of art in the end of the 15th c when, after a break of almost hundred years, Bulgarian churches are built again.
The iconostasis of the church (17th-18th c) is among the earliest and is kept in the National Gallery of Art.
After its restoration the Boboshevo monastery was characterized with educational and literary activity. Some of the monks participated in the copying and distribution of liturgical books. There was also a school in the monastery.
Today only the church has remained.

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