The Aladzha rock monastery is situated only a few kilometers south of the Riviera Holiday Club and Golden Sands sea resorts and is also a part of the Zlatni Pyasatsi natural park. The distance to Varna is 16 km.
About the monastery:
The name of Aladzha monastery comes from the Turkish word for colourful ('"aladzha'") due most probably to the bright colours of its wall paintings, dating back to the early Middle Ages. The monk''s cells, common rooms and sanctuaries, dug directly into the limestone rock and situated on two levels high above the ground, were connected via an external staircase. The lower floor hosted the monks'' private cells, common rooms (i.e. kitchen, dining room) and a small church, while the upper level was dedicated entirely to a chapel. According to some historians, primitive monks'' cells were built and inhabited already in the 4th century AC. The entire monastery is considered to date back to the 12th century AC. Unfortunately, nowadays only few of the frescoes are preserved (most of these to be found in the chapel) but the experience of visiting a monastery dug high above the ground into a steep rock is unforgettable. The monastery is declared a cultural sight and houses a small museum. Less than a kilometer away from the Aladzha Monastery, one can find a similar monastery complex, called Katakombite (The Catacombs). Katakombite has an origin and history similar to those of the Aladzha Monastery, though its remains are far less preserved.