The Princely Monastery of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, situated in Sofia’s Knyazevo district, carries a poignant history dating back to the 15th century. Its origins trace to the existence of the small St. Luke’s Church on the same grounds. Archaeological discoveries of bones and skulls in a mass grave area suggest a somber past. It is presumed that, akin to similar tragic events in Batak, this location served as a refuge for many innocent individuals, including women and children, seeking shelter in the holy monastery during troubled times, yet tragically met a brutal fate.
Presently, the monastery complex comprises residential buildings, a church, and a chapel. Within the church resides a replica of the revered “Iverska Mirotochiva” icon; the original rests in the Zograf Monastery on Mount Athos. The monastery boasts a remarkable library housing a collection of ancient printed treasures and contemporary documents. Functioning actively, the monastery adheres to Orthodox traditions and follows the authentic Orthodox calendar, often referred to incorrectly as the “old style.”