Cathedral „Saint Dimitar”, Vidin

Cathedral „Saint Dimitar” is a cathedral church of Vidin eparchy. The church is second biggest in Bulgaria after the cathedral-monument „Saint Alexander Nevski” in Sofia.

Church was declared a monument of culture with national significance in State gazette 84 /31.10.75. The temple is situated in the central part of the town in the park, close the hotel "Zora" and on 500 meters from the bus station in the town of Vidin. The functioning Christian church is in very good condition and provided free access.

After 1718 Vidin became a border city of the Ottoman Empire. The border law started being effective for it. This effectively means that the Bulgarian population is not allowed to live in the city walls – the fortress (Kale). Because the gates of the fortress are closed from 6:00 in the evening to 7:00 in the morning and the churches "St. Petka" and "St. Panteleimon" can not be used during major Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter, it was forced at the end of the seventeenth century to begin the construction of a new church outside the stronghold. The church was given the name of Martyr Dimitar from Thessaloniki. Soon it became a center of cultural life in Bulgaria and became a Metropolitan Church. On December 6, 1868 the temple was first officially used by Bulgarian bishop on Bulgarian language. Since then, this church became the chair of Vidin Metropolitan Antim I, who after four years became the first Bulgarian Exarch. On October 26, 1890 the day of the patron saint's day was laid St. Antimis and was celebrated the first Mass. Due to a worn-out of the wooden structure the temple had to be demolished and rebuilt. Funds for the building were collected from the capital of guilds and by voluntary contributions of citizens. The plan was developed by architect Bahnani. On March 10, 1885 officially was laid the foundation stone of the new church. The building is fully prepared and painted in 1926, when the solemn consecration and opening of the temple.

The internal architecture of the temple is impressive. The use of side galleries and two side towers of the main facade is a sign of Catholic cathedrals. Cross stone columns (14 m) with an imitation of marble, have ornamental capitals. The height of the central dome is 33 meters. Impressive are the murals, the openwork carving on balconies and crystal chandeliers. Woodcarving is modernized in Debar- galicheski - rechanski style. Interesting is the picture "Envoys of King Peter served gifts of St. Ivan Rilski". In their faces are depicted Georgi Sava Rakovsky, Hadji Dimiitar, Hristo Botev, Lyuben Karavelov, Vasil Levski and Todor Alexandrov.

The exterior architecture is spectacular. The main facade is designed with a medium strongly protruded housing and two clock towers. The entrance from the west is raised with solemn steps. It is provided with a semicircular arch on columns with capitals in stone carving. Shaped stone cornices and pilasters, couples columns at the corners with carved niche, arched windows, gathered in twos and threes, a frieze of geometric rosettes and other set up the architectural details.

The towers are square with semicircular domes on padantivs. They are decorated with carvings and diamond maze. The richest shaped is main entrance. The side walls are determined in a similar way, only the inputs are slightly simplified. The whole dome is divided by ribs. The drum inside is with arched windows and shaped with graceful arcades on semi-columns. The walls are made of bricks and stones and the roof is from tin. In the courtyard of the cathedral is the tomb of the Vidin Bishop Kiril.