One of Bulgaria’s most significant historical treasures, listed on the Unesco World Cultural Heritage list. Set amongst tall old pine trees in the exclusive suburb of Boyana on Vitosha mountain, this quaint church dates back to the 11th century and was built in three stages (11th, 13th and 19th century). The frescoes, dating back to 1259, are considered a remarkable example of realistic art from that era, a century earlier than the birth of the Italian Renaissance. 240 realistic figures, bearing the features of Bulgarian life at that time, are depicted on the walls and include portraits of Tsar Konstantin Assen and his wife Tsaritsa Irina as well as Tsar Kaloyan and his wife Dessislava. The name of the artist (or artists) is unknown and he is generally just referred to as the Boyana Master. At the nearby museum, visitors can get a more detailed insight into the remarkable history of this church. Access to the church is restricted and only with a guide.