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:: holyplaces-kn ::



The Rila Monastery is the biggest spiritual center of Bulgaria, part of the world cultural heritage. It was founded in the 10th century by the monk-hermit John of Rila and his disciples among picturesque nature, hidden in the breasts of the highest and the most majestic mountain on the Balkan Peninsula. The Rila Mountain gives its name to the saint of Rila, and what he gives to the mountain is his holiness. The fame of the hermit spreads all over the country and reaches the capital Turnovo. Tsar Peter himself goes to bow before the Saint.
In the course of its centuries-old existence the Monastery has gone through years of progress and downfall. Around the year 1335, the local feudal lord Stephan Dragolov (Hrelyo) built the monastery at its present place. Only the defensive tower Hrelyovs tower has remained since then, with a small chapel at the last storey with a unique wall painting. In the first decades of 19th century the Monastery complex was built in its present appearance due to the efforts of several generations of eminent Bulgarian builders, painters and master-woodcarvers. Today visitors coming here get the feeling that they become part of a great organic whole with the divine nature and what mans hand and brain created throughout the centuries.
The Rila Monastery keeps various works of high artistic value of Bulgarian art. The collection of icons includes works from 14th to 19th century, and the woodcarvings are some of the oldest preserved in our country. The monastery library keeps rare mediaeval manuscripts. Here is where the earliest in Bulgaria printed engraving was made the woodcuts from 18th 19thcentury. Well-off Bulgarians from near and far establish impressive guest-hostels Their arrangement carries the originality and the coloring of their homes.
The guests of the Rila Monastery can go to a picnic to few more distant places of the complex like: St. Luka Monastery, The Grave of St. John of Rila; Partizanska (Partisans) / irils Clearing, and others.

Your contact:
2643 Rila Monastery complex
Kyustendil district
Tel. (+359 7054) / 22-08

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Regional Historical Museum Academician Yordan Ivanov, Kyustendil - 2004-2006