8, Tsar Kaloyan Str.
The ancient Metropolitan church of St. Nicholas of Mira of Lycia – the Miracle–Worker, was erected at the beginning of the fourth century as a small family chapel within the palace complex of Emperor Constantine the Great. In the 13th century, on the foundations of the early Christian chapel Sebastocrator Kaloyan raised a new temple, which at the end of the 19th century was expanded and converted into a three-nave basilica with a bell tower.
The ancient church which had withstood the currents of time, along with the church archives, was annihilated by the large-scale British – American carpet bombing of March 30, 1944. Only the sanctuary, with the miraculous icon of St. Nikolai of Mira of Lycia, remained unscathed.
The single nave basilica standing today was built in the 1950s, at the insistence of Patriarch Cyril I and consecrated by Tihon, Metropolitan of Smolyan. Sections of the medieval walls are preserved in the north interior wall of the temple, where the most important relic – the miraculously preserved icon of St. Nicholas is displayed. Despite its modest size, the church appeals with its magnificent murals and icons – work of icon-painters Karl Yordanov and Mikhail Maletsky.