Church of St Petka, Vukovo

The Church of St Petka (Bulgarian: Църква Света Петка) is a late Medieval Bulgarian church in the village of Vukovo, Kyustendil Province.

Location, history, architectural and artistic features

The church is situated on the left bank of the Struma River in the eastern part of the village of Vukovo, municipality of Boboshevo.

It is one nave and one apse church without narthex with wall piers which form a swallow arc on the western facade. Its dimensions are 8,10 x 4,34 m. The vault is semi-cylindrical. The semi-round apse has a small narrow window. It was built of stones and white plaster. The whole interior as well as the western external wall are painted. The frescoes in the church are relatively well preserved and are an important source for the development of the late medieval painting in Bulgaria and the Balkans. The church was constructed in the 16th century.

The frescoes were painted in 1598 as seen from the ktitor inscription in the western side of the naos with funds of rich people from the village. The decorative system of the frescoes is with traditional medallions with depictions of Jesus Christ on the vault, friezes of medallions with saints and prophets and full-length portraits of saints under the arcade. Among the images of saints and martyrs are some of the oldest discovered depiction of Saint Sava, depictions of the sainted Pope Sylvester I and St Boniface who are popular in the Catholic art. In the decoration of the church there are a lot of details of influence from the Italian art - the moustaches of some soldiers, half-faced people in the Betrayal of Judas, the knight banner of the centurion St. Longinus in the Crucifixion and others. With the new ideas and skilfully painted frescoes, the church is among the most valuable monuments from that period on the Balkans.

The church is an architectural monument of culture (DV, is.77/1972) and artistic monument of culture with national importance (DV, is.100/1969).

The church is named after Saint Paraskeva or Petka of Bulgaria who lived in 10-11th century. From 1238 her relics were kept in the capital of the Bulgarian Empire Tarnovo but after the fall of the country under Ottoman domination the relics were fimaly moved to Iaşi in modern Romania in 1641.


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Building Activity

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