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Monasteries in Bulgaria


Monasteries in BulgariaDuring 5 centuries of Ottoman rule, Bulgarian national traditions were kept alive by monasteries, which have been cradles of Bulgarian language learning, education and culture since the Middle Ages. Often hidden away in the most private parts of the mountains - both for defensive reasons and because of the tranquility thereby, they provided the Bulgarians with both spiritual and political leadership during the 19th century National Revival, or, as it is often called 'the Bulgarian Renaissance'.
 For today's visitor, the Bachkovo monasteries offer a unique atmosphere of sanctity and peace, as well as the opportunity to visit the wonderfully decorated churches inside the monasteries. They fascinate with their remarkable architecture, colonnades, arches and vaults and welcome a lot of pilgrims and crowds of visitors all year round.
 For more details on travel itineraries on this subject pls contact us.
Note: All tours are tailor-made and can be customized according to your personal preferences. The first and the last day itinerary are also subject to change according to the arrival/ departure times.

In case you would like something in the itinerary to be altered, don't hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to satisfy your travel needs.
The prices of the itineraries are land-only, but we will be glad to assist you in arranging the flight.

What follows is a short presentation of some of the most visited monasteries in Bulgaria:

Rila Monastery - the most visited monastic foundation in the country, founded in 1335 by Ivan Rilski.
Rila Monastery is situated in the Rila Mountain, 120 km from the capital of Bulgaria - Sofia. Many miracle-working relics and icons can be seen in its beautifully decorated church.
The museum inside the monastery has a rich collection of valuable old manuscripts, a remarkable ethnographic exhibition, and a library, containing more than 16 000 books. Rila Monastery is Southwestern Bulgaria's most visited tourist destination, recognized by UNESCO as a part of the world cultural heritage.

Bachkovo Monastery is the second largest in the country after the Rila Monastery. It is beautifully set in the Rhodope Mountains, in the picturesque Chaja Valley, 29 km from the second largest town in Bulgaria - Plovdiv. The monastery boasts exquisive frescoes. Founded in 1083, it is known for its original architecture, remarkable paintings, rich collection of icons and coins, as well for its library, preserving many old valuable manuscripts. UNESCO has also declared Bachkovo Monastery a world monument.

Drjanovo Monastery was destroyed and re-built two times. It lies in the Dryanovo River Gorge, 4 km away from the town of Drjanovo. During the April uprising 200 men found shelter in the monastery, but, being crushed after a fierce battle, the monastery was burnt to the ground. Relics from the April epopee can be seen in the museum today.

Rozhen Monastery is situated in the Pirin Mountain, 6 km away from Melnik. The present- day appearance of the monastery dates back to the 16th century, and most of the paintings inside the walls are from 17th century. This monastery is famous above all with its carved iconostases ' the compositions, carved on them, are extremely complicated and are a real achievement in the decorating arts.
 Rozhen Monastery has left us another treasure - the art of calligraphy. A unique work of the calligraphic school here is the manuscript 'Interpretation of JONAH', now kept in the Holy Grave Church in Jeruslem.

Troyan Monastery is 7 km away from the town of Troyan, and according to a chronicle, it was founded in 1600. The monastery is known for the creative work of Zachary Zograf, the famous painter from the National Revival period, who painted both the interior and the exterior of the main church.

Monasteries in BulgariaROCK MONASTERIES:
Aladja Monastery is one of the best-preserved rock monasteries in Bulgaria. It dates back from the Middle Ages. The monastic cells and a small church have been dug into the rock. It is situated some 2 km from Zlatni Pjasatzi - Bulgaria's largest Black sea resort, and 14 km away from Varna.
Ivanovo Rock Monastery - located near the town of Rousse, this monastery is one of Bulgaria's historic monuments, recognized by UNESCO.The cells, churches and chapels, dug into the rocks, are painted with realistic frescoes, which are remarkable for their color and compositions.


Of course there are numerous smaller monasteries and churches scattered throughout Bulgaria, which can also be visited on various tour itineraries. They are all customized to perfectly fit our clients' individual preferences.

For more details on our selection of itineraries on monasteries, churches, and religion please contact us.