Bulgaria Monasteries - discover the monasteries of Bulgaria!

Bulgaria Monasteries is a website which is uniquely created to reveal the beautiful world of Bulgarian monasteries to you and give you the starting point for your journey through the land of monasteries. You will find on our website in detail and illustrated information for over 120 monasteries in Bulgaria.

We hope that the majority of you will contribute to the enrichment of the provided information with your photos, personal stories and comments on visited monasteries so that more keen travelers and eager readers to learn more about the unique world of Bulgarian monasteries. Moreover, more people will be fascinated with one of the biggest cultural and historic treasures of Bulgaria, namely Bulgarian monasteries.

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Rila Monastery "St. Ivan of Rila"

Rila Monastery "St. Ivan of Rila"

Rila Monastery is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria. It was built in the middle of 10th century by the hermit Ivan of Rila. The present appearance of Rila Monastery dated back to the beginning of 19th century when the residential wings and the main church "The Nativity of the Virgin" were built. The oldest building in the monastery is Hrelyo Tower from 14th century.

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Bachkovo Monastery "Virgin Mary"

Bachkovo Monastery "Virgin Mary"

The monastery was established in 1083 by the Great Domestik of Western Byzantine Garrisons, the Georgian, Grigorii Bakuriani. Due to its origin, the monastery combines three cultures – Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian. There are three churches in the monastery, the oldest one of which dated back to the 12th-13th century.

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Troyan Monastery “Holy Mother's Assumption”

Troyan Monastery “Holy Mother's Assumption”

Stauropegial Troyan monastery is the third biggest monastery in Bulgaria and the third in significance as well. It was built in 1600, but its present appearance dated back to the period 1835-1855 when the main church was erected. At present, the Troyan cloister is a complex of a main church and residential buildings, as well as two chapels-“ St Nikolay the Miracle-Worker” and “St. John the Baptist”.

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 Klisura Monastery “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”

Klisura Monastery “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”

The Klisura Monastery is hidden in the picturesque valley of Vreshtitsa river, at the foot of Todorini Kukli peak in the the western part of the Balkan mountain. Klisura Monastery was founded in 1240 as at that time it was named Vreshetski. The Klisura Monastery offers accommodation at reasonable prices.

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Aladzha Monastery

Aladzha Monastery

The Aladzha rock monastery is situated only a few kilometers south of the Riviera Holiday Club sea resort and 2 km of Golden Sands seaside resort. It is also a part of the Golden Sands Nature Park. At present, the remains of 20 residential premises and three churches, which were cut out on two levels in the almost 40-meter high limestone rock and connected via an external staircase dug into the rocks, will fascinate the visitor.

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Arapovski Monastery “St. Nedelya”

Arapovski Monastery “St. Nedelya”

Arapovski Monastery was established in the middle of 19th century near an antique spring. The construction was done in 1856 and 3 years later the main church "St.Nedelya" was built. The most unique bulding in Arapovski Monastery is the church tower.

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Basarbovo Monastery  “St. Dimitrii of Basarbovo”

Basarbovo Monastery “St. Dimitrii of Basarbovo”

Basarbovo Rock Monastery was established during the period of the second Bulgarian kingdom, but its name was mentioned for the first time in a Turkish tax register in 1431. The most famous resident of the monastery was St. Dimitrii Basarbovski.

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Cherepish Monastery

Cherepish Monastery

Cherepish Monastery was established during the reign of tsar Ivan Shishman. It was mentioned in a document kept in the Sofia church, historical and archeological museum that the monastery was destroyed during the period of Ottoman invasion. The Cherepish Monastery was restored in the beginning of the 17th century by the renowned Bulgarian ecclesiastic, builder and painter Pimen Zograf of Sofia.

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Dragalevtsi Monastery "Virgin Mary of Vitosha"

Dragalevtsi Monastery "Virgin Mary of Vitosha"

Dragalevtsi Monastery was mentioned for the first time in the Vitosha golden-printed deed of the famous Bulgarian king Ivan Shishman (1371-1393). It revealed that the monastery had been established during the reign of Ivan Alexander (1331-1371), which means the period of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. It is believed that the monastery was a part of the group of monasteries which arose in 14th and 15th century around Sofia.

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Dryanovo Monastery “St. Archangel Michael”

Dryanovo Monastery “St. Archangel Michael”

Dryanovo monastery “ St Archangel Michael” is situated in the picturesque gorge of Dryanovo River , 4km away from the town of Dryanovo, 14km away from Gabrovo and 24km away from the historical town of Veliko Turnovo. The monastery was one of the main centers of Hesychasm and it was a shelter to many monks in the 14th century. There was a secret storeroom for food and arms, which was the reason why rebel leaders Priest Hariton and Bacho Kiro used the monastery as their fortress at the time of the April uprising.

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Etropole Monastery "St. Trinity"

Etropole Monastery "St. Trinity"

The Etropole Monastery was established in the Middle Ages (1158). It is famous for its limestone base due to the limestone with which the monastery’s church was built. The legend says that the holy cloister’s existence may have been closely related to the name of the hermit Ivan Rilski, who had settled in one of the caves in the ‘Varovitets’ region before choosing solitude life in Rila. Nevertheless, the local people of Etropole declared the place holy and laid the foundations of the present-day monastery. Etropole “St.Trinity” monastery was one of the biggest literacy centres at Bulgarian lands in XVI and XVII century as the popular Etropole calligraphic and art school was established there.

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Glozhene Monastery „St. George the Victorious”

Glozhene Monastery „St. George the Victorious”

Glozhene Monastery “St. George the Victorious” was established in the middle of 13th century by the Ukrainian prince Glozh who settled in the area of the present village Glozhene with the permission of the Bulgarian king Ivan Assen II. He built there a monastery dedicated to the icon “St.George the Victorious”, which he carried with him all the way from the land of Ukraine.

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Ivanovo Monastery “St. Michael the Archangel”

Ivanovo Monastery “St. Michael the Archangel”

Ivanovo Rock Monastery was established in the twenties of 13th century by the monk Yakim. During the whole period of Second Bulgarian Kingdom, the monastery had developed strong relationships with the kings of Tarnovo.In the 14th century Ivanovo Rock Monastery was a centre of Hesychasm. The monastery had survived until Bulgaria fell under Ottoman Rule and shortly after, but gradually it fall into decline. Nowadays the monastery is not functioning and it consists of 20 small rock churches, chapels, monks' cells, hewn into the rocks of the picturesque canyon of Roussenski Lom river.

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Kapinovo Monastery “St.Nikola”

Kapinovo Monastery “St.Nikola”

The Kapinovo Monastery "St. Nikola" lies at the foot of the Elena Balkan on the banks of the Vesselina river. The Kapinovo Monastery was established in 1272 during the reign of the king Konstantin Assen-Tih(Quiet) (1257-1277).The residential buildings of the Kapinovo Monastery were erected in 1856 by the funds of brothers Horozovi from the town of Elena. The Kapinovo Monastery offers accommodation.

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Kilifarevo Monastery  “The Nativity of Mother of God”

Kilifarevo Monastery “The Nativity of Mother of God”

The Kilifarevo Monastery “The Nativity of Virgin Mary” is established in 1348 from the renowned Bulgarian clergyman, Teodosii Turnovski with the generous support of the Bulgarian ruler Ivan Aleksander. Teodosii became an abbot in the monastery and turned it into one of the most significant educational and literal centre of the Orthodox Hesychasm.The name of Kilifarevo monastery was mentioned in the annals in 1442 and all survived rebels from the Second Turnovo Revolt found their shelter in it in 1596. That was the reason why the monastery was conflagrated by the Turks and its fortress walls have been destroyed completely. A monastery has no longer been restored at that place. The Kilifarevo Monastery was erected on its present place on the banks of the river Belitsa in 1718, just above the old monastery. Kolyo Ficheto, an eminent Bulgarian master began the construction of the nowadays church “St. Dimitar” in 1840.

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Kremikovtsi Monastery "St. George the Victorious"

Kremikovtsi Monastery "St. George the Victorious"

It is believed that the Kremikovtsi Monastery was built during the reign of the king Ivan Alexander , but there is certain evidence for its existence from the 15th century. The oldest building there is the church “St.Georgi” dated back to the end of the 15th century and renovated two times. During the Ottoman Slavery the Kremikovtsi Monastery was an important literary and cultural centre for Sofia’s residents and many liturgical books have been transcribed there. Kremikovtsi cloister is a nunnery at the present

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Kuklen Monastery “St.St. Kosma and Damyan”

Kuklen Monastery “St.St. Kosma and Damyan”

The Kuklen Monastery was established during the Second Bulgarian State and it was mentioned in the 11th century in a document describing the properties of the Bachkovo Monastery. It is believed that the monastery was named after the saint bothers Kozma and Damyan for their curative capabilities. The monastery emerged as a religious cloister around a spring of curable waters and according to the legend, it cures mental disorders.

monastery details
Osenovlashki Monastery „Virgin Mary”

Osenovlashki Monastery „Virgin Mary”

The legend says that the establishment of the Osenovlashki Monastery (the Seven Altars) is related to the name of the famous Bulgarian boyar Petar Deliyan and the rebellion against the Byzantine rule in 1040. The earliest historical evidence for the existence of the Osenovlashki Monastery was found in a Gospel dated back to 1511, and from another official document from 1554

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Patriarch Monastery “Holy Trinity”

Patriarch Monastery “Holy Trinity”

The Patriarch Monastery “Holy Trinity” lies in an extraordinarily beautiful area at the foot of the picturesque Arbanassi plateau.According to some explorers, the Patriarch Monastery was established in 1070. Other records suggest that the holy cloister arose as far back as the reign of Ivan Alexander and its founders were Teodosii of Turnovo and Patriarch Evtimii. The Patriarch Monastery was plundered and demolished during the falling of Turnovo under Ottoman oppression. The Patriarch Monastery was restored in 1847 with the financial help of the local people, but on a different place, 1km away from the old monastery.

monastery details
Plakovski Monastery "St Prophet Iliya"

Plakovski Monastery "St Prophet Iliya"

The Plakovo Monastery “St. Prophet Iliya” was established during the reign of the tsar Ivan Assen II.The monastery was erected on its present place in the middle of the 13th century. In 1835, the Plakovski monastery hosted the famous Velcho’s Plot, as one of the leaders of anti-Ottoman plot being the ex-abbot of the monastery, Father Sergey.

monastery details

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