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Rila monastery on the map of Bulgaria - photos

Rilskij monastyr v Bolgarii

The world's largest men's monastery located in the heart of Sunny Bulgaria. Rila monastery is not just a Christian stronghold, it is a cultural asset not only of Europebut of the entire world.

Rila monastery on the map of Bulgaria

muzhskaya obitel na karte

In the Rila mountains, among age-old trees and crystal clear mountain rivers and lakes, sits majestically a real cultural center, surrounded by massive columns, through which dazzle the eyes of the gilded domes of the Church.

All roads lead to Rila

One thousand one hundred and fifty meters above sea level, the mountain landscape interspersed with lush forests and pristine lakes – among all this natural splendor hiding plain in the centre which flaunts a brilliant architectural creation – the Christian fortressoriginating in the 10th century and surviving to the present day.

Rila monastery is not just the current monastic community, is the spiritual center of Bulgaria.


The administrative center of the Balkan country – a beautiful European capital city Sofia, the monastery is shared by one hundred and seventeen kilometers to the South. However, almost all the roads in Bulgaria are here, as most of the tourist routes. So finding this place will not be difficult.

Getting started

nachalo sushestvovaniya

Stavropegic monastery was founded in the 10th century. It bears the name of its founder - St. John of Rila, the patron Saint of the country, the monk who led a solitary lifestyle and chose this wonderful place for solitude. For many years he spent in the cave grotto in prayer and spiritual rebirth.

The followers of his religious beliefs, enlisted the support of the authorities and in 927 was erected next to the cave monastery. Until today, the monastery stands on the same spot where were buried its founder.

During its long existence, the monastery did not just fall out of favor the fire element: a coincidence or godless power was to blame is now irrelevant. Christian citadel was destroyed and rebuilt in spite of everything, preserving and enriching Bulgarian language and culture. Survived, though has suffered an irreparable loss, under pressure from the Ottoman yoke.

With the support of the Russian Orthodox Church the monastery was restored at sunset of the 15th century, but two centuries later, again suffered greatly from fire, and after 60 years the sky over the monastery again to smoke fumes from the fire element.

The flourishing of the monastery occurred in the Renaissance, when the Orthodox sanctuary operated a parochial school, was restored a unique library, which holds ancient manuscripts and incunabula and other rare books.

In the late 20th century the Rila monastery was included in the world heritage Fund of UNESCO.

Visitors of the monastery can be divided into several groups, among which:

  • The Orthodox faithfulwho wish to venerate the Shrine;
  • Lovers of cultural heritage;
  • Tourists, who visited Bulgaria and considering her attractions, as a component of the hotel.

The design of the Shrine - photo

v kakom stile oformlen?

Even a cursory glance at the monastery enough to feel the atmospherereigning here, and powerful energy, coming from these old stones. Large architectural form and subtle details of the composite are complementary, they are surrounded with luxury and aesthetics.

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The Palace luxury

Externally, the monastery like Palace and designed in the style of the Renaissance. Antique forms – arches, colonnades, domes and niches give the formidable buildings of elegance and aesthetics. Through the centuries survived here:

  1. tower with small Church;
  2. carved gates;
  3. majestic throne.

The watchtower is considered the first building in the monastery and dates from 1335 year, the Cathedral Church of the Nativity was rebuilt in the 30-ies of the last century.

In the monastery of the order of 300 cells, although the number of monks here were not in the best of times.

The cave of John of Rila removed from the monastery at 4 km, but if you want you can get the beaten trail.

Values the men's monastery

Of course, the high interest of tourists cause not only the architectural form of the monastery. The true goal of most visitors to touch unique shrines.

cennosti monasheskoj obshiny

The story tells of the miraculous abilities of John of Rila, which have, according to believers, and his relics which are stored in the ruck in front of the altar of Christ. They are hidden by a velvet curtain, which open after the Liturgy or at the request of the pilgrims who wish to venerate the incorrupt remains of the righteous, canonized even during his life, and his shroud.

Of no less interest of the pilgrims and cause a rare icon the "Protectress", which means pointing the way - the image of the mother of God that is accessed with prayers for healing. In fact, the "Hodegetria" is unique not only for its miraculous powers, but the fact that her reliquary the relics of 32 saints, among which:

  • Lazarus;
  • Protomartyr Stephen;
  • the apostles Andrew and Matthew;
  • St. Athanasius of Alexandria;
  • Holy Mary Magdalene , and others.

The exposition of the monastery Museum also will not leave anyone indifferent. For example, it stored the first globe, which was made by Bulgarian craftsmen, rare coins and weapons, as well as numerous icons, paintings, manuscripts and printing artifacts.

Will not remain unnoticed, and the altar is carved a cross, which belonged to the monk rafailo, over which he labored for 12 years. But not even this impressive figure, and that on the cross skilled hands of a monk cut out six hundred and fifty saints and more than a hundred stories of biblical scenes.

Biblical scenes, following souls for twenty trials all of this is embodied in the many frescoes on the walls. Surrounding the main temple of the monastery.

Not to diminish the value and the fact that a visit to the Rila monastery opens an exceptional opportunity to join the life of monks.

Access to the Christian citadel

vhod v hristianskij oplot

Pilgrims all year round to visit the men's monastery, which to a certain extent, adapts to the tourist beat, but not cease to live his life.

Some of the objects and constructions on the territory of the monastery is not available to visit, however most of them are willing to open yourself to all visitors.


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Features visit

To begin with, we recall the Rila monastery is a working monastery and not simply a cultural object. In this respect visiting hours and rules of conduct regulated. In the monastery you can go from 8 to 18 hours.

If you wish to stay in the rooms for pilgrims at the monastery, but it is necessary to understand what to expect in this case it is possible to ascetic conditions. The perimeter of the monastery there are numerous hotels that are ready to be year-round and all-day reception of pilgrims. What conditions is preferable – solves every man for himself.

A visit to the monastery is possible both organized groups and individually. Also you can go on tourist routes in the Rila mountains, information boards and signs will be silent, but very convenient for Navigator.

osobennosti nahozhdeniya na territorii

Visit the monastery implies the proper conduct of the pilgrims and the appropriate attire, which is a basic manifestation of care and respect for the residents and servants of the monastery.

You always go your way

Almost all of the trails in Bulgaria include a visit to Rila monastery. Russian tourists to visit the country will require href="http://tour.liketourist.com/situaciya/pasport/v-bolgariyu-nuzhna-li-viza/">visa.

To get to Bulgaria can be almost any transport: by plane, by train, by bus, by car and by ferry across the Black sea.

Already in the very Rila monastery can be reached in three ways:

  1. with a tour group;
  2. on a route or customized (taxi) transport;
  3. on a rented car.

The easiest way to get there by bus from Sofia, Burgas or Varna. The road will take from 2 to 7 hours depending on departure point. Getting to the Rila mountain, the bus that will take to the final destination.

Very popular today is the service for renting a car, where it's possible to get to Rhyl, but it is necessary to have a document certifying the right of control of international standard and the driving experience.

In any case, whatever the path to the monastery, a huge energy engulf each, ensuring vivid emotions and unforgettable impressions.

Rila monastery – a unique monument of the Balkan Peninsulawithout visiting which, it is impossible to feel the distinctive rich culture of Bulgaria and its wonderful inhabitants.

We recommend to watch informative videos about Rila monastery: