Bulgaria’s Botevgrad to Excavate Archaeological Site from the 6th Century AD Famous for Old Stone Church

The St. George stone church near Bulgaria's Trudovets might have been part of an Early Christian monastery. Photo: Botevgrad Municipality

The St. George stone church near Bulgaria’s Trudovets might have been part of an Early Christian monastery. Photo: Botevgrad Municipality

An archaeological site from the 5th-6th century AD which is famous for harboring an old stone church is to be excavated near the town of Trudovets, Botevgrad Municipality, in Northwest Bulgaria.

The now defunct St. George stone church near Trudovets is believed to have been part of a medieval monastery. It still has fragments of medieval frescoes.

On the archaeological site of the stone church, locals have found a marble pillar and Early Byzantine coins from the 5th-6th century, leading scholars to hypothesize that the monastery which existed there may have dated back to Early Christian times.

The site of the St. George church will be excavated with funding from Bulgaria’s National Museum of History in Sofia, Botevgrad Municipality has announced.

The funding of BGN 10,000 (app. EUR 5,000) has been pledged by the Museum’s Director Bozhidar Dimitrov at a meeting with Botevgrad Mayor Ivan Gavalyugov. The Municipality itself is going to contribute another BGN 10,000.

The archaeological excavations are necessary since the local authorities wish to save the old stone church whose walls have big cracks.

The building has been reinforced but is in need of all-out restoration, for which Botevgrad Municipality is going to draft a project once the digs are completed.

The St. George church near Trudovets has had a monument of culture status since the 1970s. Yet, up until 2013, when it was cleaned up by locals, the church had been almost completely covered with soil and vegetation.

Locals say that around 1900, an inscription dating from 1335 AD (i.e. the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire) was discovered on the territory of the former monastery; however, it has not been saved.

The stone church near Trudovets before and after it was cleaned up by the locals in 2013. Photos: Trudovets website

The stone church near Trudovets before and after it was cleaned up by the locals in 2013. Photos: Trudovets website

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