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Monastery “St. Iv. Rila”

100 National Tourist Sites

The Chiprov monastery was founded 700 years ago. With its origin in the 10th century, the monastery was a center of Bulgarian literature not only during the time of the First Bulgarian State, but also during the Byzantine rule, the Second Bulgarian State and the Ottoman rule. The monastery was destroyed and rebuilt several times, the last destruction was in 1876 during the Serbian-Turkish war. After its restoration, the monastery established links with Russian Orthodox monasteries, and received a gift from Emperor Paul the First of a throne gospel with lavish silver fittings, which today is kept in the National History Museum.

In 1829, the monastery church was built, which can still be seen in the courtyard of the complex today.

Currently, most of the monastery buildings have been restored or are being reconstructed. After the Liberation, an ossuary tower was built. The monastery is an architectural-historical and artistic cultural monument of national importance.

The monastery complex consists of a church, a monastery, a small cemetery and a three-story tower – an ossuary on the ground floor, a chapel on the second floor and a belfry on the third floor. The complex is surrounded by a stone wall with three entrances. In the center is the church “St. Ivan Rilski”, which is single-apsed and triconchal with a low dome, without frescoes. The iconostasis is carved and decorated with painting and gilding, seven of the icons are the work of the Koprivsht painter Hristo Enchev.

The monastery cloister is two-storied with verandas open to the inner courtyard and is 75 meters long. Due to the sloping terrain, it looks like an imposing fortress from the outside, but from the inside it gives the impression that it is dug into the ground. In honor of the Liberation, the “St. Athanasius” chapel was opened in a room on the second floor, with a small iconostasis, assembled from two ancient iconostasis from the middle of the 19th century and a new one from 1879.

The tower of the monastery is a three-story bell tower. The ground floor houses the bones of the participants in the Chiprov uprising and monks who died during their participation in the national liberation movement. On the second floor of the tower, which is reached by conical external stone steps, a former chapel is currently being restored. The third floor, where the monastery bell is located, is reached by internal steps. From there you can see a beautiful view of the monastery courtyard and the surrounding hills.

Work time:
Every day: 08.00 – 20.00 h.

Tel: +359 878 970388

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