Getting There: Dragalevtsi Monastery

Society | November 1, 2002, Friday // 00:00

If you live in Sofia or you are simply visiting and wish to get out of the city noise, jams and dirty air, you should opt for at least a short walk outside Sofia. The Dragalevtsi Monastery or "Vitosha Virgin Mary" is one of the places near Sofia, worth visiting. It is situated some one a half kilometre up from the village of Dragalevtsi in the woods. It was founded in 1345 by Tsar Ivan Alexander and expanded by his son Tsar Ivan Shishman. During the period of Turkish rule in Bulgaria the monastery was a center of Bulgarian education and culture, the national hero Vassil Levski is known to have stayed there often. There are very interesting murals from 15th century. Usually, during the week-end there are many people who visit the monastery. You can go to the monastery by car and by bus. The monastery has been used most recently as a nunnery, but it is open for visitors and is easily accessible via the road up to the Aleko ski area. Bus N 64 goes to the square of Dragalevtsi from where after a less than an hour walk in the woods you reach the monastery.

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