Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

The most impressive monument from the Bugarian National Revival period rises amidst the rugged beauty of the Rila Mountain, just 120 km from Sofia.

Having survived the times with the self-confidence of the most zealous guard of the Bulgarian spirit and language, it still fascinates present-day visitor with the pure and harmonious line of the buildings' exquisite colonnades, arches and vaults, spacious rooms richly decorated with murals and fretwork.

The monastery's most treasured historic and artistic monuments include the 14th century Hrelyo Tower, the five-domed Birth of the Blessed Virgin Church and the original monastery kitchen from the 19th century.

The monastery also houses a rich museum collection of valuable old manuscripts and documents, charters and icons, an ethnographic exhibition of fabrics, jewelry, carpets and wrought iron objects, and a library containing more than 16,000 books.

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