St. Haralampi church
village of Hrabrino
Helping out a friend: survey and study of the church “St. Haralampi” and the adjoining school, Hrabrino village, Plovdiv region, 2016.
Project by architect Stefan Stoyanov.
The church “St. Haralampi” and the small elementary school situated in its courtyard are among the very few buildings from the Bulgarian national Revival period that still stand in the village of Hrabrino.
Built in 1852, he church has a single, barrel-vaulted nave and a single apse. It has been reinforced with metal tie rods and stone masonry buttresses after it was partly compromised by an earthquake during the early 20th century. While its dimensions remain modest and it’s currently daubed with a rather inexpressive yellowish plaster, the typical 19th century blue coloring of the church is still visible in places, together with hints of colorful exterior mural paintings depicting religious scenes.
The church’s interior is completely covered by mural paintings, and while investigating the building we discovered a second layer of mural paintings underneath the current one, inside as well as outside on the southern façade.
The elementary school was in a state of structural emergency. During our intervention, we managed to secure and safely store all the pieces of the painted pediment, where the year of inauguration of the school was written, amidst a pictorial composition: 1883. Unfortunately, property conflicts did not allow the village mayor to implement our prescriptions for the consolidation of the building, besides forbidding public access to it. Currently the stone slab roof has completely collapsed and only two walls and part of the intermediate flood are standing. Very soon, the nearly 150 years-old elementary school will be but a memory…