The citizens of Klissura guard their temples and care for them as if they were sacred. The older one, “St. Nicholas”, survived the pogrom of the April Uprising, but the local people miraculously restored the surviving chapel in the churchyard and turned it into a place of worship throughout the year. A few days ago, on August 14, on the eve of the Great Mother of God, the “St. which keeps the bones of the city residents who died during the April Uprising.
The creation of the icon, its donation and consecration turned into a celebration for the city, the Mayor of Klisura Genka Todorova told “Maritsa”. The venture met young people who saw each other for the first time, but for months, from a great distance, worked for a common cause.
The idea of placing a “Resurrection of Christ” icon in the crypt of the “St. Archangel Michael” chapel was the work of teacher Nikolay Nikolov.
He is known among his friends as Nikola Klisursky
because of his great patriotic activity, part of which was the restoration of the chapel and his participation in the uprisings of the April Uprising.
In the days surrounding the celebration of the anniversary of the feat of Klisur residents from BNT, they did an interview with him. In the conversation, Nikolay shared the idea for the icon. At that time, Kalin Delev from Burgas was in Austria, saw the interview, heard the exciting story and immediately embraced the idea of the patriot from Klisura. Since he did not know the interviewee, he found the phone number of the mayor of the city Genka Todorova on the official page of Klisura on the Internet and shared with her his intention to donate such an icon to the city. I immediately put him in touch with Nikolay, Genka Todorova said – the idea was his and he had to have his say on this proposal, she clarifies.
Kalin found an icon painter – Juliana Pavlova from Sofia.
“This is how it came to be the day before the Great Mother of God, continues the story of the mayor of Klisura. – Kalin, Juliana, Nikolay and I and the citizens of Klisura gathered and headed by the priest with a procession from the Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin headed to the old church of St. Nicholas “. In the “St. Archangel Michael” chapel, the new icon was consecrated – this expected gift, which is very valuable for the city. Now the icon shines above the bones of our fellow citizens who died for freedom, says an excited Genka Todorova.
Klisura has memorial places and relics that are valuable not only for the city, but also for every Bulgarian heart, she continues. They are mostly associated with the Revival and the April Uprising, as well as from the time after the Liberation. Klisurci are making efforts to protect them. Thanks to the patriotic activity of our fellow citizens, the new church “Assumption of the Holy Virgin” was also saved, adds Genka Todorova.
Three or four years ago, the inhabitants of the town united around the efforts of the town hall and the church board and
saved the new church “Assumption of the Holy Virgin”,
built in 1885. This is how the broken dome was repaired and replaced by a golden one.
The effort to secure money for roof repairs began in 2018. Then the town hall, with the consent of the church board led by Father Yavor, turned for help to the Commission on Religions of the Council of Ministers. They received support of BGN 10,000. However, the funds were not enough – the roof of the church was old and rotten, the rain ran down the painted ceiling and the walls. In the following year – 2019, President Rumen Radev was a guest of Klisura during the celebration of the anniversary of the April Uprising. The mayor shared with him the problem with the church. Not long after, the Ministry of Religion allocated another 15,000 BGN for the repair of the roof. The intention of the town hall and the church board to renovate the temple immediately met with support from the local community. The owner of the “Klisura” eco-complex, Miroslav Nikolov, responded and transferred 3,500 euros to the church board with a payment order for this undertaking. The rest of the money needed for the repair was collected by the citizens, continues Genka Todorova.
Each gorge set aside a certain amount according to their means.
Engineer Stanimir Krastanov took charge of the organization of the repair. He and his wife Natalya had settled in the town five or six years earlier and had promised to help restore the church. The well-known Plovdiv journalist Petko Shoilekov, a descendant of one of the great Klisuri families, found craftsmen to carry out the complex repair of the roof. And a local company delivered from Russia a special sheet of titanium alloy that shines like gold.
Hats off to the old carpenters
When the repair of the roof began, we realized that we had to take off the hats of the old masters who built the churches, engineer Stanimir Krastanov told “Maritsa” in those days. It turned out that the dome of the church is double – one is external, and at a distance of about 40 cm below it there is another, which is actually the ceiling of the temple.
The outer dome is a roof that protects against rain, snow and external influences. The inner one is the ceiling on which the central fresco is laid.
Later, again with money collected from donations, the golden cross that shines on the dome of the church was also erected, Genka Todorova said.
People from the entire Karlovka Valley are connected with the renovation of the Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin in Klisura. The famous sculptor from Sopot, Dishko Dishkov, cleaned the smoky and darkened icons of Saint Archangel Gabriel, “Elevation of the Holy Cross”, “Holy 40 Martyrs” and “Saint Mina” with special technology. More good people were found, with whose donations the interior of the church was renovated.
And since then, the golden dome of the gorge’s “Assumption of the Holy Virgin” shines and invites those traveling through the Sub-Balkans to visit both the town and the temple.