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Church of St Stephen

Ulitsa Ribarska 25, 8238 Nesebar, Bulgaria

The Church of St. Stephen (Bulgarian: Sveti Stefan) is a former Eastern Orthodox church that has been converted into a museum in Nessebar, Eastern Bulgaria. It is part of the city’s architectural and historical reserve, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 100 national tourist attractions. The structure consists of a three-nave basilica measuring 12,1 x 9,5 m and functioned as the cathedral church of the Nessebar metropolitan center.

It is impossible to precisely date the church because to its many restorations and enlargements. The eastern section is the oldest and goes back to the eleventh century. Several decades later, the church was extended by the addition of a western building. The western wall was torn down and the current narthex was constructed. The church’s roof was made of wood. The façade is elaborately designed. Pediments in the shape of trefoil arches adorn the eastern and western facades.

The eastern facade is embellished. It consists of three elevated apses, with the main one rising over the side ones. Each is embellished with a ceramic plaque. Without adhering to a certain design, stone and brick are combined in a random fashion to create a colorful impression. This church is considered to be an example of the decorative architectural style due to the embellishment of its front.

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