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Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo

100 National Tourist Sites

The rock monastery-lavra “St. Archangel Michael” near the village of Ivanovo is located in the valley of the Rusenski Lom river, not far from the village of Ivanovo. It was founded in the 1320s by the monk Joakim, who later became the Bulgarian patriarch. Its donors are the kings John Assen II (1218-1241), John Alexander (1331-1371) and other representatives of the royal court, whose portraits of the founders have been preserved.

The monastery has a complex structure and unites several complexes of rock rooms. Wall paintings have been preserved in six of its churches, revealing the characteristic features of Bulgarian art in the 13th and 11th centuries. During the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (XII-XIV centuries), the monastery was established as a large spiritual and literary center, with the activity of which the so-called “Visarion’s crutch” is associated. Graffiti and inscriptions with important historical information can be read on the walls of the monastery premises.

The frescoes in the church “St. Virgin”, which are among the most representative examples of Paleolog art in the Balkans. Their high artistic qualities are the reason for their inclusion by UNESCO in the list of world cultural heritage . In the 11th and 15th centuries, the monastery became a center of hesychasm. It also existed during the early centuries of Ottoman rule, but gradually declined.

Since 1978, it has been declared a National Archaeological Reserve.

Work time:
01 April – 31 October (Summer opening hours): 09.00 a.m. – 04.30 p.m.
During the winter season: visits only upon prior request by phone: 082825002 or 0897 90 54 13

Entrance fees:
Regular ticket: BGN 10.
Reduced (pupils, students, pensioners): BGN 5.
Groups (more than 5 people): BGN 6.
Lectures: in Bulgarian: BGN 15.
In English: BGN 25.
For holders of youth cards EURO 26: BGN 4.
Lecture in a museum office: BGN 20. Day ticket for city exhibitions: BGN 15.

For information: 0897 90 54 13, 082825002, 082800765.

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