Place Category: AttractionsPlace Tags: church, Dolno Lukovo, Ivailovgrad, and miracles
The church “St. Constantine and Helena” in Dolno Lukovo village was built in 1806. To reach the temple you need to travel 25 km from the town of Ivaylovgrad. It is said that you light a candle and pray in it all your wishes will come true. To happen the miracle you have to leave one candle before the icon of Jesus Christ and the other in front of the icon of Virgin Mary. The chandelier in the church was brought from Mount Athos.
The building of the church is also extraordinary. By the time the villagers decided to build the church, the construction of Orthodox churches was forbidden in the Ottoman Empire, unless there is a special permit. Therefore, the local people outwitted the Turkish rulers. The locals built the church for seven days during the night. They claimed that they were building a barn with stones from the nearby river Byala. Therefore the appearance of the church resembles a barn – without doors and windows. When the building was fully completed its rel purpose could be shown because there was a law according to which already completed building couldn’t be demolished. So the village acquired its own church. One of the outer walls did inscription stones with the year of erecting the temple and white angel in the shape of a cross, to protect the church. The church has no belfry and the locals were summoned to prayer by a clapper hanged on a tree which was lost over the years.
The church is unique also because there is a spring with holy water inside its altar. And the rooms for women and men were separated, something unusual for a Christian church. Each wooden chair on which sat believers is made with different shapes and decorations. Undoubtedly the most interesting, however, are frescoes. All images are painted by local artists with natural dyes derived from plants directly on the clay plaster of the walls. The scenes are more like to come out of a children’s book than frescoes in the church. You can see how, according to the imagination of locals, will be punished the sinners in hell. The cheater has a stone on his neck, the liar is hanged on his tongue, the sinners boil and in the hand of God there is the scales of justice.
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