“Saint Alexander Nevsky” Cathedral Silver Medal of the #Sofia series, 31.1g129.00 BGN
The first of the #Sofia collection, this commemorative medal is dedicated to the most notable and majestic cultural and architectural symbols of Bulgaria’s capital city. The cathedral is struck in fine silver 999.9 to proof quality medal, with a diameter of 38.6 mm.
The first in this silver medals collection, dedicated to the city of #Sofia, depicts none other than the most awe-inspiring architectural marvel and undisputed symbol of the capital - the “Saint Alexander Nevsky” Cathedral. Minted on the obverse side is a detailed illustration of the facade and southern side of the structure. The focal point of the design is framed by two other buildings, a signature of the iconic square surrounding the cathedral.
This medal instantly catches the eye with its finish, characterised by two different matte textures. The “Saint Alexander Nevsky” Cathedral’s famous gilded domes have a satin finish, making them stand out against the mirror-like polish of the background and the facade and copper domes’ standard matte finish.
The medal’s reverse design is a visual call-back to Sofia’s coat of arms. Divided into four opposing quadrants akin to the fields on a shield, it depicts four other symbols of the city - The Rotunda St. George, St. Cyril and Methodius National Library, the Monument to the Tsar Liberator and Vitosha Mountain.
The medal comes with luxury packaging that serves as its certificate of quality and authenticity. The issue is limited to only 3000 pieces in production.
Weight 31.1 g
Circulation 3000 pcs.
Diameter 38.6 mm
#Sofia is a commemorative collection of silver medals, dedicated to the capital of Bulgaria and the rich cultural heritage it comprises.
For the obverse of the medals, we have selected the five cultural and architectural landmarks that best encapsulate the rich history of the city - "Saint Alexander Nevsky" Cathedral, Eagles' Bridge, Sofia University and The Statue of Sofia.
On the reverse of each medal is an illustration of four other symbols of the city, inextricable from its status as a historical and cultural centre - The Rotunda St. George, St. Cyril and Methodius National Library, the Monument to the Tsar Liberator and Vitosha Mountain. The design is inspired by the city’s coat of arms - the four landmarks are divided into four opposing quadrants, akin to the four heraldic fields on the shield.
The medals in the collection were struck in fine silver 999.9, with a diameter of 38.6mm, and a weight of 1 troy ounce (31.1 grams).
Each medal in the #Sofia issue is a limited edition, with only 3000 pieces per design in production. This makes them a valuable addition to any collection, as well as a meaningful and original gift.
"Saint Alexander Nevsky" Cathedral is a cultural and historical landmark of national importance, built to honour the Liberation of Bulgaria. It commemorates the bravery of those who perished as part of the war efforts and pays tribute to their sacrifice.
The decision to build the monument was made a year after the peace treaty in Bulgaria’s recently re-established capital city of Veliko Tarnovo. It wasn’t until a new capital city was announced - Sofia, which retains that title to this very day - that Knyaz Alexander I von Battenberg suggested the cathedral be built in the new seat of the government. The project was crowd-funded, and Knyaz himself gave the first donation - 5000 "gold" levs, the gilded currency used at the time.
The foundation stone of the church building was laid on the fourth anniversary of the peace treaty - 3 March 1882 - but it took 22 years for the construction to begin and another 8 for the project to be finished. Today this foundation stone - granite from Vitosha Mountain, а moraine monolith - is located in the crypt of the Cathedral, in the so-called "Golden Room".
The initial building plan was created by the Bulgarian architect Ivan Bogomolov, but following his death, the project was undertaken by the Russian architect Alexander Pomerantsev, a professor at the Russian Academy of Arts specializing in church architecture, whose rich portfolio includes another notable Bulgarian landmark - the Shipka church and monastery complex. Pomerantsev creates an entirely new building plan for the "Saint Alexander Nevsky" Cathedral, which he brings to completion between 1904 and 1912. The Cathedral was consecrated officially over the course of three days - 12, 13 and 14 September 1924, one day for each of its three altars. In 1953 it was declared a Patriarchal Cathedral.
Architecturally, "Saint Alexander Nevsky" Cathedral is а cross-domed basilica in the Neo-Byzantine style, as seen through the eyes of its architect. The exterior of the structure is richly decorated with numerous arches and friezes with detailed engravings of plaited floral motifs, ancient bulgar elements, and crosses. The facade is made out of white stone mined in the Vratsa area, and the plinth is made of granite. The bell tower stands above the main entrance, over 50 meters in height - it houses 12 bells, the largest of which weighs nearly 12 tonnes.
Among that majestic cathedral’s most notable features are its gilded domes - the central dome, which is also the largest, and the bell tower dome. Gilding them requires 8.35 kilograms of gold. The technique used to gild the domes uses gold foil sheets 84 by 84 millimetres in size and 0.4 µm thick. The thin spread of the gold over the domes’ total surface of 700 square meters, requires periodic restoration. During the latest restoration in 2001, re-gilding the 160 square meter dome of the bell tower alone required 25 000 sheets made out of 23.75-carat gold.
The interior of "Saint Alexander Nevsky" Cathedral is as impressive as its exterior, decorated with marble, onyx and alabaster from all over the world. One of its most imposing design elements is the central iconostasis, made of several kinds of marble in various colours, and the two smaller peripheral iconostases are designed in its image. Numerous icons and mural paintings line the walls.
"Saint Alexander Nevsky" Cathedral's external size is 72 meters in length, 55 meters in width and 50.52 meters in height. With a total volume of 86 000 cubic meters and occupying 3170 of land, it is one of the 50 largest church buildings in the world.
Storage of investment products and medals with numismatic value
Owners of gold and silver investment products with the Bulmint brand should take into account some specific storage conditions. Gold and silver are precious metals, which are very soft and easy to bend/deform. Investment products must be kept in a place of low humidity where the temperature does not exceed 50 degrees Celsius, in order not to impair the integrity of the package. Please do not use a sharp object on the package or the investment bullion itself – you risk damaging it.