There are times when even hard-boiled sceptics tired of discovering that much-boasted Bulgarian "tourist gems" are not exactly anything to write home about give up, as their jaws pop open at the sight of a little known yet truly remarkable monument.
This church, known as the Red Basilica, is one of these places.
Built about 1,500 years ago, it is situated in one of Bulgaria's wine producing regions at the northern foot of the Rhodope, with Plovdiv just a half-an-hour drive away. A precious remain of Byzantine culture, it is not signposted and not maintained. Even some of its murals have survived and can be seen today, in spite of the uninterrupted exposure to the elements for at least 10 centuries.
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Diana Petrova (pictured in the middle) guessed correctly that Bozhentsi is the answer of the Vagabond No. 66 Where in Bulgaria Are You quiz and won a weekend for two in Djudjevata House, Kalofer. Diana is from a "small town at the feet of Rila" and lives in Varna. She "adores" the Black Sea and the seafood and is a frequent visitor of the Shakespeare and Friends Bookstore (check it out if in the region and craving for a proper English-language book) where she saw Vagabond for the first time. Diana loves trekking in the mountains, it helps her relax so she does it every summer. She started reading Vagabond because it takes an honest and non-conformist approach towards Bulgaria's landmarks.
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers