Seraphim Danckaert is Director of Mission Advancement at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He holds an M.Div. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world.
Built in the early 20th century by an international team of stonemasons and artisans from Russia, Bulgaria, Venice, and Munich using natural materials from as far away as Brazil, the cathedral is a remarkable example of neo-Byzantine architecture and is said to hold between 5,000 and 10,000 people in its 5 naves and many nooks and crannies. Its belfry is 52 meters high and houses 12 bells, the largest of which weighs 12 tons.
The cathedral is often photographed on the outside, but images of its interior are more rare. In the video embedded above, you can see scenes from the inside, including its all-candle chandeliers and its iconography, painted in a style and including some topics (such as the “Ancient of Days”) that are no longer popular, but which represent the best techniques and most beloved style of Russian and Bulgarian iconography before the Revolution.
Check out the video embedded above, which features His Holiness Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria chanting the Cherubic Hymn from the Divine Liturgy.