On my first walk out in the city, found the Russian Orthodox church of St Nicholas governed by the Moscow Patriarchy. It is a lovely little church with the most stunning gold and copper work on and around its roof.
It is also the home to some relics, and is open to the public. Once again, I felt that the chapel with the relics and the sentiment of the people who had come to pray to them was very spiritual and taking photographs would have been disrespectful.
At the entrance was a little shop where the faithful could buy icons and/or candles. There were also tables and chairs, and people were writing out their prayers or offerings on small pieces of paper. From there the faithful would walk up to the shrine, pray and place their piece of paper by the shrine to offer up their thanks or requests. I was very moved by the solemnity of the people visiting the shrine in the church, it was clearly a very important and valuable act to each of them.
The church is in Pushkin Park and was built to be next to the Russian Embassy. The church is still in the same place, but the embassy has moved putting a bit more distance between the two Russian cultural centres of Sofia.