Emperor Constantine built this ancient church. He loved Sofia so much, he wanted to make it the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The church is surrounded today by all these buildings because during the Communist era there was an attempt to hid religious sites from public view, so I am told.
A retablo is a frame or shelf containing decorated panels of saints and/or biblical scenes installed above or behind an altar.
Therese, Patroness of the Missions, co-Patron of Europe. The Catholic Church has a tradition of displaying its saints in a glass-encased sleeping position in order to express its hope of the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
The chosen people experienced a snake infestation while sojourning in the desert. Moses was instructed to put up a pole with a snake as a means of deliverance from the affliction. A memorial was placed on Mount Nebo, where Moses was said to have viewed the Promised Land before he died.
Interestingly, this Orthodox Cathedral was intended to be demolished in 1924 because it was regarded as a symbol of oppression. It was saved only by the lack of funds. It was meticulously restored when Estonia got its independence from Russia in 1991.