Places of interest
The Boyana Church is situated near Sofia and is one of the cultural symbols of Bulgaria for it represents the significant contribution of the Bulgarian Fine arts to the European cultural tradition. It has preserved valuable frescoes dating from 1259 with high artistic value who are considered to be the predecessors of the European Renaissance.

What makes the Boyana paintings so unique is the realism, the convincing psychological depth and vitality of images along with the perfect technique. Among the most valuable images are those of the church donors - Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Desislava, the royal couple Konstantin Tih, Asen and Irina, the granddaughter of Tsar Ivan Asen II and the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Theodore Laskaris. The image of the 12-year old Jesus Christ in the church is amazing. In the alive humanlike expression of the image, the art experts identify the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

The wall-paintings in the church are so impressive that they are compared to the works of Giotto, who however was born 7 years after they were created. Only this fact is enough to make us think of the heights that would have been reached by Bulgarian fine arts, if only Bulgaria hadnt fallen under the Ottoman domination.

Many frescoes reveal interesting details about clothing and features of the national way of life at that time, thus they have not only artistic but also historical and documentary value. All these artists remain unknown, and the name the Boyana master is a collective name of the team that decorated the church after acquiring skills and mastership at the Tarnovo School of Arts.