Location: Bankya, Sofia, Bulgaria
“Fresco-Hunting” Photo Research Expedition to Medieval Balkan Churches provides a unique opportunity to students and volunteers to take part in an expedition for documentation of abandoned medieval churches/chapels and their frescoes in Western Bulgaria and to visit many other Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries, museums and archaeological sites in Sofia, Western Bulgaria and Eastern Serbia.
The number of monuments in the project focus has been permanently decreasing due to the lack of effort to preserve and protect them from weather damage and vandalization. During the last six years the “Fresco-Hunting” Photo Expedition upgraded the existing database of drawn and photographic records of eleven churches and chapels in Western Bulgaria. The objective is: the publication of a ‘Corpus of Medieval Frescoes from Western Bulgaria’ and development of further projects to support the sites in danger through conservation,restoration, development/improvement of the site's management and fund-raising.
In 2014 the expedition envisions to enhance the database created during the previous seasons by documenting architecture and frescoes (and their condition) of two to three medieval Christian Orthodox chapels and small churches in Western Bulgaria and collecting new data on their history, artifacts and environment. The target region is geographically and culturally very close to present-day Eastern Serbia, where a photo-excursion will take place. The students will be able to find paralels and make comparisons with ecclesiastic monuments across the border.
Project Venue: a hotel in Bankya, a small SPA town in the Sofia Metropolitan Area, Bulgaria. The fieldwork during the work days will involve travel to the church sites (app. 60-80 km away from Bankya) and the transport will be arranged by the Balkan Heritage Field School (BHFS).
The Field School Project has two versions: Standard (17-31 May, 2014) and Extended (17 May - 7 June, 2014).
The STANDARD PROJECT is suitable for students, young specialists and people with interests in european medieval studies, orthodox architecture and art, fresco restoration and conservation as well as photography.
The EXTENDED PROJECT is suitable also for those with interest in digital photography and documentation of artifacts and architecture and have some familiarity with the basic principles of photography, digital slr cameras and those who are comfortable with learning new computer programs.
The Standard Field School Project (17 - 31 May, 2014) is comprised of:
The Extended Field School Project (17 May - 7 June, 2014) is comprised of:
All participants will receive:
Period(s) of Occupation: Late Medieval period (fourteenth to seventeenth century).
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Two weeks
Room and Board Arrangements
In comfortable rooms with two to three beds (bathrooms with shower and WC, TV) in a hotel located in the downtown of Bankya, wich also provides free Wi-Fi. Laundry service is available. Three meals (fresh, organic Bulgarian food) per day are covered by the admission fee. They usually take place (except the lunch packages during the excursions) in the hotel restaurant. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. Staying an extra day at the hotel costs 33 EUR. Single rooms are available upon request for the supplement of 170 EUR (for one-week period).
Chavrukov, G. Bulgarian monasteries. Septemvri Publishing House, Sofia. 1978
Cormack, Robin. Byzantine Art (Oxford History of Art). Oxford University Press. 2000
Filov, B. Early Bulgarian Art. Paul Haupt. 1919
Crampton, R. J. A. Concise History of Bulgaria (Cambridge Concise Histories) - Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (2006)
Gabov, Alexander and George Bevan. Recording the Weathering of Outdoor Stone Monuments Using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI): The Case of the Guild of All Arts (Scarborough, Ontario).Journal of the Canadian Association for Conservation (J. CAC), Volume 36, 2011
Huntington, John C. Photography for Art Historical Field Research and Documentation –
Mango, Cyril. History of World Architecture: Byzantine Architecture. Rizzoli International Publishing, New York. 1978
Mora. P., Laura Mora. Conservation of Wall Paintings (Butterworth - Heinemann Series in Conservation and Museology). Butterworth-Heinemann. 1984
Safran, L (Editor). Heaven on Earth: Art and the Church in Byzantium. Pennsylvania State University Press. 1998
Tragido, Alfredo. Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church (Guide to Imagery Series). 2006
Warda Jeffrey (Editor). The AIC Guide to Digital Photography and Conservation Documentation, AIC 2011