Not normally my favourite form of art, the religeous icons on display in the Crypt of the Alexander Nevski Church is Sofia, Bulgaria, are quite special, indeed.

The Alexander Nevski church in Sofia is impressive enough in its own right to warrant a visit, but there is more than the church alone. In the crypt, entered through a door left of the main entrance, a collection of Bulgaria’s best religious icons has been brought together, from places all over the country. I am not normally a great fan of icons, or of religious art in general, but the pieces on display here are special, quite beautiful in fact. The vivid colours and the exquisite details are incredible, especially given the age of many of these, some dating back to the 5th Century – although the majority is 15-18th Century, still from some time ago. Most have been painted anonymously, as was customary for religeous art.

I have selected a few, in the gallery below, to give you an impression, but should you have the chance, do go and see them for yourself. Even if you are not normally an icon fan.

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