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Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

Category   Monasteries

The largest Bulgarian's monastery is situated in the south-west part of the country, around 120 km south of the capital Sofia, in the foot of Rila mountain and the valley of Rilska River. Founded in the X century, the monastery is named on its founder St. Ivan of Rila, the first Bulgarian hermit. During the ages, the monastery was many times destroyed, rebuilt and reconstructed. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983.

Church of the Nativity of the Virgin
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin
Until about 1834, there was another medieval church, built by Hrelyo Dragolov, on the site of the present church. By the decision of the monastery brotherhood, the old church was demolished and in the period 1835-1837 the main church of the monastery was built.

Rila Monastery
The monastery was built as a fortress and is spread over 5 floors, of which only 4 are visible. It has more than 300 cells, several chapels, an abbot's room, a museum and a library.

Rila Monastery
The built-up area of ​​the monastery is about 5500 square meters.

Rila Monastery
The murals on the cathedral church are the work of the most prominent painters of the 19th century.

Photographer: BulgariaView, License: Creative Commons License