Nativity Memorial Church


A magenta-and-white ice-cream cone of a church glows above tumbledown Shipka village, its golden onion domes glittering from thick woodlands. Part of Shipka Monastery, the magnificent structure was built in 1902 as a dedication to soldiers who died at Shipka Pass during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–8). To get there, follow the Hram Pametnik sign for 1.2km through the village, or walk 300m up from the restaurant along the Kazanlâk–Gabrovo road.

The church's design is heavily influenced by Russian architecture and features five golden domes and 17 church bells, within a 53m-high bell tower that can be heard for several kilometres when rung. Thirty-four marble plaques on the outside walls list the names of soldiers who perished in the Russo-Turkish War. Inside the crypt Russian soldiers are interred, and there are some wonderful frescoes depicting scenes from Russian history.

Souvenir and food stands can be found in the car park of this enormously popular sight. Indoor photography permits cost 5 lv.