Russian Church
             of St Nikolai
Shipka, Bulgaria
Near the site of a decisive battle in the Russian-Turkish War
of 1877-78, which won Bulgaria's independence from Turkey,
Russia built its own version of an Orthodox Church,
complete with onion domes.  It's a memorial to Russian war
dead, and a sign of solidarity between two countries that
share the Orthodox faith.  Bulgaria was still loyal to Russia
during the Cold War.  Now times have changed and Bulgaria
is a member of the European Union.
The golden onion domes make this a distinctively Russian
church, even though it's in Bulgaria.  A similar church is in
the Bulgarian capital of Sophia.  Not that I ever tire of
photographing onion domes.
The Russian Orthodox cross atop the domes is distinct from
both Catholic and Protestant Christian crosses in the west.
Another name for this building is the Nativity Memorial
Church.  It was built in 1902 and is part of the Shipka
Monastery.  A separate war memorial is nearby.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip, "Draculas
Neighborhood", by clicking on:
http://www.adventurepics.com/IBE/video1.aspx?
VF=Dracula.wmv