The Church of the Nativity

  “The Nativity” is the oldest church in the picturesque village of Arbanassi, included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List of valuable cultural sites. It was built in the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century. It comprises men’s department, women’s department, a gallery that surrounds them to the North and South, and a chapel called “St. John the Baptist”. “The Nativity” Church is one of the most beautifully decorated churches in the village. The paintings are very colorful and rich in scenes and figures.
Notable among the mural paintings are: “The Nativity”, “The Last Judgment”, “The Holly Trinity of the New Testament”, the socle panels illustrating “The Genesis”, dated in 18th century,  the “Tree of Jesse”. The peak of the artistic decoration is the composition “The Wheel of Life” with a zodiac, on the western facade of the chapel. This composition contains elements unique for the Bulgarian art. The iconostasis of the chapel is one of the oldest pieces of the Bulgarian engraving art from that period.
The Nativity church was a metropolitan church and a residence of the Tarnovo Greek bishops during the 17th-18th centuries.