Rila monastery

Rila monastery Rila monastery St. Ivan Rilski Fresco in Rila Monastery

The Rila monastery is situated in southwest Bulgaria in the Rila mountain. It was established on the upstream of the river Rila in 10th century by St. Ivan Rilski.

The Rila monastery is one of the most important cultural monuments in Bulgaria; it is a symbol of Bulgaria and it is enlisted in the worldwide heritage list of UNESCO.

This is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria - 5 storyes, 4 of them are above ground. This peculiarity of the building is explained with the limitations put by the Ottoman rule in 1834 when the present building was constructed.

Tsar Ivan Shishman issued the Rila Diploma on 21th September 1378, which is issued and stamped with a golden seal and gives the monastery, as fiefdoms, 20 villages together with their land.

At its foundation the monastery becomes a literary and educational centre. Neofit Rilski works in the field of pedagogy in it; he also establishes a church school in the Revival period. The monastery shelters Vasil Levski, Ilyo voivoda, Gotse Delchev, Peyo Yavorov and many others.

St. Ivan Rilski monastery was built in the place of an old anchoress in 927-941 by Ivan Rilski in the Rila mountain.

In 1778 the St. Ivan Rilski monastery becomes a victim of some fierce fire. In 1784 it was rebuilt by Master Alexi who in 1816-1819 designed and built the east, north and west wing. A significant part of the monastery was burnt again in 1883; its rebuilding was done by Aleksi under the supervision of the then abbot Yosif the Builder.

Today the ensemble of the monastery covers territory of 8,800 sq. m, 5,500 sq. m of which - built-up area. The monastery wings, built at different time on 4 and 5 storeys, surround the only yard on all sides in the shape of an irregular pentagon.

The Rila monastery has the status of a separate settlement with the population (with current address) of about 65 people.

Predela hotel is situated 75 km away from the Rila monastery in the Predela area between the Rila and Pirin mountains. The guests of the hotel can enjoy their summer or winter holidays in the mountains among peace and quietness. The century-old tree is situated in the yard of the Predela hotel; the beech gives positive energy to whomever toughes it. The hotel has suites and rooms which could accommodate from 50 to 55 people.

Predela Hotel

Predela Hotel

Predela hotel is situated in the Predela area in the Predela col on the north slope of the Rila mountain.

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