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Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery


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Rila Monastery Tours

Visit Rila Monastery as part of our Bulgarian Monasteries Tour
Visit Rila Monastery as part of our Bulgarian UNESCO Sites Programme
Visit Rila Monastery as part of our Classic Bulgaria Programme
Visit Rila Monastery as part of our Museum Towns and Bulgarian Traditions Programme
Discover Rila Monastery with our Rila Monastery Tour with lunch
Visit Rila Monastery as part of our Festival of Roses in Kazanluk 7 days Programme

Monasteries: Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery - Pictures Of Bulgaria
Location:
The Rila monastery lies in the very Rila mountain, at 1,147 meters above sea level. It is situated 117km away from Sofia to the south, and is no doubt the most popular tourist site among all monasteries in Bulgaria equally for its size, natural surroundings, architecture, wall paintings and ancient history. The monastery is flanked by the small mountain rivers of Rilska and Drushlyavitsa and is only 4 hours walking distance from the Malyovitsa peak, rising at 2,729 meters above sea level. The highest peak of the Rila mountain, Mousala (2925 meters), which is also the Balkan peninsulas highest point, is further away at about 8 hours walk. The monastery offers a great view to the surrounding peaks of the mountain and represents a developed tourist sight with all the accompanying facilities such as souvenir shops, restaurants and inns.
About the monastery:
The monastery is believed to have been founded by a hermit, John of Rila, in the 10th century, during the reign of the Bulgarian Tzar Peter (927-968). St John of Rila, whose mummified relics are exhibited for pilgrims in the main church, in fact lived in a cave about half-an-hour walk away from the present-day monastery complex. The monastery itself is considered to have been built by his scholars, who came to the place to be taught by him.

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