St. Ivan Rilski Chapel
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The St. Ivan Rilski Chapel (St. John of Rila Chapel, Bulgarian: Параклис Свети Иван Рилски) at the Bulgarian base St. Kliment Ohridski on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands is the first Eastern Orthodox edifice in Antarctica, and the southernmost Eastern Orthodox building of worship in the world (cf. Trinity Church, Antarctica).
The idea for the construction of the chapel named after patron of the Bulgarians, St. Ivan Rilski, is of the 2000 years Christmas foundation. It builds on the desire and with the assistance of the Bulgarian Antarctic scientists. Their research season starts at the beginning of our winter and ends after the coming of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. During this time, the base employs a total of between 12 and 15 people, geologists, biologists, doctors, meteorologists, botanists and others.
The parts of the small chapel with a capacity of three cubic meters and weighing three tons were shipped to the Spanish ship. The completed Chapel was consecrated on 9 February 2003.
The Chapel’s bell was donated by Nikola Vasilev, ex-Vice Premier of Bulgaria who worked as a doctor at the Bulgarian base in the 1993/94 season, while the roof cross was donated by the Bulgarian artist Dicho Kapushev. The Chapel features an icon of Jesus Christ the Bridegroom by the Bulgarian artist Georgi Dimov, and an icon of St. Ivan Rilski donated by President Georgi Parvanov of Bulgaria who visited and lit a candle in the Chapel on 15 January 2005.
St. Ivan Rilski Chapel was provided with new premises in the 2011/12 season.
- Isla Livingston: Península Hurd. Mapa topográfico de escala 1:25 000. Madrid: Servicio Geográfico del Ejército, 1991.
- L.L. Ivanov. St. Kliment Ohridski Base, Livingston Island. Scale 1:1000 topographic map. Sofia: Antarctic Place-names Commission of Bulgaria, 1996. (The first Bulgarian Antarctic topographic map, in Bulgarian)
- L.L. Ivanov et al. Antarctica: Livingston Island and Greenwich Island, South Shetland Islands (from English Strait to Morton Strait, with illustrations and ice-cover distribution). Scale 1:100000 topographic map. Sofia: Antarctic Place-names Commission of Bulgaria, 2005.
- L.L. Ivanov. Antarctica: Livingston Island and Greenwich, Robert, Snow and Smith Islands. Scale 1:120000 topographic map. Troyan: Manfred Wörner Foundation, 2010. ISBN 978-954-92032-9-5 (First edition 2009. ISBN 978-954-92032-6-4)
- The project for the first Eastern Orthodox chapel in Antarctica is ready. Church Gazette. 16–30 April 2002. (in Bulgarian)
- Penguins open Bulgaria’s EU bid. Sofia Echo, 30 January 2003.
- Consecrating the Bulgarian chapel in Antarctica. Standard News Daily. 9 February 2003. (in Bulgarian)
- Creations by the icon painter Georgi Dimov even at the South Pole. Sega Daily, 22 February 2003. (in Bulgarian)
- Ivanov, L. and N. Ivanova. Livingston Island. In: Antarctic: Nature, History, Utilization, Geographic Names and Bulgarian Participation. Sofia: Manfred Wörner Foundation, 2014. pp. 16–20. (in Bulgarian) ISBN 978-619-90008-1-6 (Second revised and updated edition, 2014. 411 pp. ISBN 978-619-90008-2-3)
- Ivanov, L. General Geography and History of Livingston Island. In: Bulgarian Antarctic Research: A Synthesis. Eds. C. Pimpirev and N. Chipev. Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 2015. pp. 17–28. ISBN 978-954-07-3939-7
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