St. Blessed Virgin Chapel
The temple, originally dedicated to St. Athanasius, was erected in 1829 in order to serve the congregation during the construction of the new St. Nedelya Church.
The building is with an unassuming architecture and in it is kept the beautiful carved iconostasis of 1766 in good condition. Leading founder was Valko Kurtovic Chalakov.
The small modest temple with length 14.5m and width 5m is built on solid stone foundations with wooden frame-built walls. It is of single nave, single apse and there is a small narthex. It is covered with a flat wooden ceiling, decorated with carved and painted colored rosettes. The height of the nave is 3 meters. The alter area is enclosed by the old iconostasis, on which large icons painted in the XIX century are mounted. Amongst them most remarkable is the holy icon St. Blessed Virgin by Dimitar Zograph. He made the icons for the royal row of the large church. After the construction of the temple in 1832 he made the icon for the small temple.
The royal gates are the oldest (XVII century). Together with the small icons from the festive cycle and the decorated crucifix (according to an inscription on the painting of the apostolic frieze of 1766), they are the most ancient religious shrines serving their purpose in an active Orthodox church in Plovdiv. Under the eastern chapel is constructed a charnel measuring 5 by 5 meters and depth of 4 meters. A steep stone staircase, constructed under the apse on its north side, leads to the basement. This was the “pogrebnitsa” (common grave) mentioned by Konstantin Moravenov, which holds the bones of those inhabitants of the parish who were buried in the cemetery (east of the temple) until 1892.
The north supporting wall of the temple impresses with its masonry embedded in the stone. It is a marble altar from Roman times (II-IV century) with preserved Greek inscription, which mentions the name of Marco Nikomidiets, citizen of Philippopolis. Above it, a sculpture of an eagle with outstretched wings is walled up. In all likelihood, these antiquities were discovered during the excavation for the construction of the ossuary. The chapel is opened every Wednesday for Liturgical service in front of the icon of St. Blessed Virgin. The main temple festival – Introduction of the Virgin Mary in the Temple, is also the Day of the Christian family and the Christian youth, and the smaller one – Shroud of the Virgin Mary, is held in the narthex in front of the large icon of the same name.