Visiting Primorsko has become an even more attractive proposition with the arrival of the very first underwater chapel to the Bulgarian southern Black Sea coast. Named after the patron of fishermen and seafarers, St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker this unique chapel was erected some 10 meters below the surface and is fully compliant with the canon of Orthodox Christianity.
Designed by sculptor Nikola Dikov, the image of the saint was made from brass and the alter from ancient stone with a cross and candlestick placed on it. A plate completes the design with an image glorifying the Saint Trinity. All visitors to the chapel will be able to light artificial sticks especially designed for underwater instead of the usual candles.
Irena Badalova, Chairperson of the newly founded Primorsko Underwater Diving Club said "The idea came from Todor Popov, an instructor in underwater diving. "The idea became reality thanks to the efforts of many people including one Muslim. The chapel was consecrated by Father Gavrail. On 1 June we installed it under water to the south of Cape Maslen. Shortly after we started underwater works, a herd of dolphins appeared. We had some trouble with the unstable weather, however it did calm down on the most important day. I am not aware of such an underwater site of Orthodox Christianity anywhere else in the world. With it we hope to make underwater diving more popular".
Irena continued by saying “There is keen interest in the site. An artist has contacted me. He makes ceramic icons and is ready to donate some of his works to St. Nicholas chapel. The locals in Primorsko are also very excited about the site and have been asking for details though they have always been rather sceptic about underwater diving. With this in mind we are going to work to make this unique sport more popular among young people".
The Primorsko underwater diving club also hope that interest in its activities will increase with the arrival of the chapel which is already emerging as an attraction for romantic couples wishing to marry underwater.
The Saint Nicholas Underwater Chapel was financed by Todor Popov from the Poseidon Diving Centre and Irena Badalova. The Tourist Chamber in Primorsko and Primorsko municipality have also contributed towards the project.
Below is a short video showing some of the attractive pieces created for the chapel in their new underwater environment: