Nessebar is a centre of Orthodox Christian art in the course of seven centuries (13th -19th century). Until nowadays 250 icons have survived. They were created by local icon-painters and decorated dozens of churches in the town. The oldest examples of the Nessebar School are from 13th century. The icons “St. Nicholas” and “The Holy Virgin- mistress of life” dated back that time.

After the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule, Nessebar remained a unique centre, preserving Christian artistic traditions. A local icon-painting school was founded and reached its peak during 16th – 17th century. The major icon painting centres Meteors, Atone and island of Crete influenced it.

Many icons are dedicated to the Holy Virgin and reflect the strong expressed cult towards Her. Others depict Jesus Christ, prophets, apostles, evangelists and numerous saints.

Nessebar icons fulfilled the will of dozens of donators and their names reached us due to numerous donors’ inscriptions. In some cases the artists have signed and dated back their works.

Pix-L homepage