Church of the Assumption (Uzundzhovo)

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Church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God
Църква "Успение Богородично"
Church of the Dormition, view from the main road
Basic information
Location Uzundzhovo, Haskovo Municipality, Bulgaria
Geographic coordinates 41°57′46.2″N 25°39′18.4″E / 41.962833°N 25.655111°E / 41.962833; 25.655111Coordinates: 41°57′46.2″N 25°39′18.4″E / 41.962833°N 25.655111°E / 41.962833; 25.655111
Affiliation Eastern Orthodox
Region Haskovo
Year consecrated 1906
Architectural style Islamic

The Church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God (Bogoroditsa) (Bulgarian: Църква "Успение Богородично", tsarkva "Uspenie Bogorodichno") is a Bulgarian Orthodox church in the village of Uzundzhovo, Haskovo Municipality, Bulgaria. Built as a mosque during the Ottoman era, it was reconstructed in 1906 as a church.


According to local legend, Ottoman conquerors destroyed the originally existing Bulgarian village and church. Under Sultan Bayezid II's order, a caravanserai for traveling merchants was then built, around which a Turkish hamlet called Uzunca Ova (Uzundzhovo) arose.[1] The well-known Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi visited Uzundzhovo at the end of the 17th century and wrote the following:

Ibrahim Tatarlı's research on Ottoman religious buildings and inscriptions indicates that famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan designed the mosque.[1] Austrian historian Hammer also confirms this assertion, with documents that show Sinan had issued 30,000 qirsh in 1593 for the construction of a mosque, caravanserai, imaret, and bathhouse in what became known as Uzundzhovo.[2] Bulgarian scholars such as Ivan Bogdanov dispute Sinan's involvement, as Uzundzhovo had been well-established as a religious judge's seat by 1566.[3]

After the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878, Uzundzhovo's Turkish population relocated. The caravanserai and other public buildings were demolished, sparing only the mosque and one of the caravanserai's entrances. The mosque was neglected until the village's Saint John the Baptist Church collapsed. Lacking the funds for a new building, Uzundzhovo's ecclesiastical board decided to convert the mosque into a church. For this purpose the 10th ordinary National Assembly of Bulgaria granted the parish the mosque for use as a church property. Uzundzhovo residents, however, resisted the idea and resolved instead to demolish the mosque and use its building materials for a new church. After a three-year debate, the idea prevailed that the mosque still had to be preserved for posterity and partially reconstructed. In 1906, it was officially consecrated as a church.[1]

After the church underwent remodeling over a century later, Metropolitan Nikolay of Plovdiv reconsecrated it on 9 September 2007.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Димов, Недялко. "Узунджово: Как джамията стана църква" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2009-02-15. [dead link]
  2. ^ Hammer-Purgstall, Joseph. Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches. vol 2. Budapest, 1834. page 584. (In German).
  3. ^ Богданов, Иван. Узунджово. [Истор. очерк]. С , НС ОФ, 1965. 79 pp. (In Bulgarian).
  4. ^ Александрова, Росица. "Пловдивският Митрополит Николай освети "Успение Богородично" в с.Узунджово" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2009-02-15.