Wish You Were Here: Rila Monastery in Bulgaria
The tenth-century mountaintop Rila Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
During our recent tour through Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, my wife and I were thrilled to be rewarded with a visit to the Rila Monastery. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a short drive from Sofia, Bulgaria. The monastery was founded by St. Ivan of Rila in 927 A.D. It is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria, and represents an important spiritual and literacy center of Bulgarian national revival. During the very long Turkish rule over the country, the monastery became a beacon of Bulgarian culture. The monastery is still run and occupied today by eight monks, and even has an on-site hotel and restaurant open to the public. The chapels and outside structures are painted in highly decorated and beautiful frescoes. This tour stop was certainly one of the highlights of our trip.
John and Pat Crandall, Greece
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