Rila Monastery

The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, known as the Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery 1

Rila Monastery

The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, known as the Rila Monastery is the biggest and most storied  Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria.

A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983 the monastery grew from 10th – century hermit’s hut and has been rebuilt many  times since.

His ascetic dwelling and tomb became a holy site and were transformed into a monastic complex which played an important role in the spiritual and social life of medieval Bulgaria. A characteristic example of the Bulgarian Renaissance (18th–19th centuries), the monument symbolizes the awareness of a Slavic cultural identity following centuries of occupation.

How to get there?

There is a daily bus to Rila Monastery, departure every day at 10:20 am from Ovcha Kupel Station (West Bus Station). You can reach the station by tram from the Palace of Justice (remember Tram  № 5). The bus arrives around 13:00 and it leaves to Sofia at 15:00 and is back in the city around 17:30. Return ticket cost 22 BGN (11 EUR) and you buy it from the driver.

What to see?

The monastery compound (open 6 am to 10 pm) includes a main church and two museums, guest rooms and a post office.

  • Church of Rozhdestvo Bogorodichno (Church of the Navity: Rila Monastery), Bulgaria grandest monastery church. Free Entrance!
  • The monastery museum (08:00 am to 17:00 pm) Entrance – 8 lv. The centerpiece is the astonishing Rila Cross.
  • Ethnographic museum (08:00 am to 17:00 pm) Entrance – 8 lv.
  • The nearby 23m-high stone Hreliova Tower
  • The monastery kitchen (1816) is in the northern wing’s courtyard.
  • The upper balcony offer outstanding views of Rila Monastery.

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.Rila Monastery 2

 

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