The Revival Period Complex is one of the most visited museums in the city. It includes the “Saint Nicholas” church, built in 1865-1866 and the fully reconstructed old mutual instruction school that existed at this place from the mid-19th to early 20th century. Their story is as follows: in 1845, in the new Bulgarian mahala (neighborhood) – Gemedzhi mahalesi, today’s neighborhood “Horizont”, was built the first church in Balchik. Its patron is Saint Nicholas – patron saint of sailors, merchants and fishermen.
The church was built with the assistance of Varna’s Bishop Joseph who received the permission of the Sublime Porte; with the volunteer labor and the donations of Bulgarians from Balchik and the surrounding villages and with the help of Balchik’s myudyur Mehmed Haracheioglu. Next to the church a mutual instruction school was also built. One year later, the Greek clergy closed the school, sold its books and textbooks, expelled the Bulgarian priests and reinstated the divine service in Greek. In 1865-1866, on the site of the destroyed church, the Bulgarians rebuild the “Saint Nicholas” church. Its first master was George Denyuv from the village of Kumanite. The building is a three-nave basilica with a semicircular eastern apse, entrances from the west and the south walls and a decorative cornice. Today the church stores valuable works from the National Revival period. Particularly striking is the iconostasis of the church, which is organized in two rows, with painted footing and plant decoration above the icons, carved royal gates with a crucifix above them, liturgical fans and dragons. It has eight royal and twenty-seven apostolic icons painted by Cosma Blazhenov in 1894. The north lectern impresses with the icon “Saint Spiridon”, the 1868 work of the Tryavna master-painter Koycho Dosyuv. Interesting are also the richly carved bishop throne and the polychrome ceiling with sun-resembling inlay decoration.
In 1866 as part of the church reopened the old school. It introduced the then famous Bell-Lancaster system known here as the mutual instruction methodology. The complex was rebuilt, renovated and preserved during the celebrations of the 1300th anniversary of the Bulgarian state. Today, the church “Saint Nicholas” is open again, but the old Revival Period school has been turned into a museum where you can see a reconstruction of a classroom, a teacher’s room and the display “Balchik during the National Revival”.
Learn more ...History Museum – Balchik Ancient Temple of the Great Mother Goddess CybeleRevival Period Complex – Balchik Antiquity and Medieval Fortress in the “Horizont” neighborhood – Balchik Municipality