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Arbanasi Monastery

Arbanasi Monastery


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Arbanasi Monastery Tours

Visit Arbanasi Monastery as part of our Proud Cities of Bulgaria Programme
Visit Arbanasi Monastery as part of our Bulgarian UNESCO Sites Programme

Monasteries: Arbanasi Monastery

Arbanasi Monastery - Pictures Of Bulgaria
Location:
The St. Virgin Mary convent can be found at the very beginning of the Arbanasi village, which in turn is situated 5 km away from Veliko Turnovo on the road to Gorna Oryahovitsa. It is one of the cloisters scattered around the former capital of Bulgaria, which hold painful memories of the Turks invasion in Bulgaria. A visit of this monastery can be a part of a nice day off or a weekend in the ancient village of Arbanasi. Another monastery, St Nikola lies at the other end of the village and can complement a visit in the neighbourhood.

About the monastery:
The St Virgin Mary cloister was established at the time of the second Bulgarian state, which ended with the fall under Ottoman rule in the end of the 14th century. As soon as the Tsarevets fortress of the Bulgarian king (in the nearby Veliko Turnovo) is conquered by the Ottoman troops, only a few houses of Arbanasi, including this monastery, survived the invasion. During the first years of Ottoman domination, the monastery remains a wealthy convent, but was later abandoned following a series of raids by groups of the so-called Kurdzhalii. Yet in 1680, local people raise money and erect the monasterys church, which has survived to date. It is an interesting building for its being quite different from the gorgeous churches of other cloisters it represents a low and longish building (18 meters long, 6 meters wide) with two entrance halls and a spacious chapel, without external brilliance or bell-tower. Its walls were painted by the Krastyo, Tsonyo and Georgi masters in 1704. Soon afterwards (in 1716), the Troyan monk Danail initiates the construction of monks dwellings and brings the monastery back to life. In 1762, the church and the chapel were additionally decorated with frescoes. Besides the wall paintings, a few icons, painted by the Tyavna master Zahari Stefanov and his son, Tsonyo, have been also preserved to present days. The bell-tower is brand new and stands out just above the main entrance of the monastery.

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Bulgaria Regions: Veliko Turnovo