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Rila Monastery, Rila

4.8
Visit Rila Monastery, the oldest religious center in the Slavic world, to appreciate the harmony between architecture and painting. The students of St. Ivan of Rila built the monastery in the 10th century near the hermit ascetic's cave and tomb. This World Heritage site is a cultural and spiritual center of Bulgarian national consciousness. The main church features beautiful frescoes and a gold-plated iconostasis, famous for its wood carvings. Don't miss Rafail's Cross in the monastery museum, which depicts 104 religious scenes and includes 650 miniature figures. At the end of the 18th century, a monk named Rafail used magnifying lenses to whittle the wooden cross. It took him 12 years to complete the cross, and the work cost him his sight. Plan your Rila Monastery visit and explore what else you can see and do in Rila using our Rila trip itinerary builder tool .
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Rila Monastery Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,505 reviews
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4.8
TripAdvisor
  • It is worth approaching the monastery because it is a really pretty building. Interestingly, the landscape and architecture. Do not charge for entry. The Church is beautiful and more interesting if they are officiating. There are two museums that make you pay and did not seem to us to be interesting. There is also a tower which can be reached by 5 camshaft. Upstairs there is a very small chapel, but there are only remains of the frescoes that are hardly seen. I do not recommend it. In short, my recomedacion is entering the Church and walk around the monastery. It's worth the time.
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  • To reach it there climbs on the back of the mountain. It is in fact an oyster: high stone walls outside (22mt), in an elegant Renaissance iso. Many frescoes of ethnographic value, not artistic, but to observe with interest. Around the mountain and the whistle of the wind which shakes the treetops. To see!
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  • A marvel, a projection in another century. We could see the Tower 13rd century cricket, enjoy the panorama around the Sun that paid homage to this monastery. We visited the Museum's treasures, the everyday environments of the monks, the Guide Sa told us about the life of the Saint, relics, reconstruction of the Church after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. There are rooms for pilgrims, renovated and charming as both as a mountain monastery, about two hours from sofia
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Google
  • A beautiful monastery set in a stunning landscape. Absolutely worth a visit. You can certainly understand why somebody would feel spiritual or close to God in this location even if you are not religious. It is a really wonderful area. Due to the location being quite a way a way from any of the major local towns I would recommend taking a tour rather than attempting public transport. There are a number of places to get food and drink just outside the monastery, and the views outside of the mountains are amazing.
  • A big monastery surrounded by mountains. We went there on a rainy/cloudy day. Has very nice architecture and paintings. There is a cemetery at back. Parking is paid unless you park before on the side of the highway. Has toilets. Has also some snacks to buy and eat outside there. It's a touristic place with tourist buses.
  • Nice monastery. Good for around two hours of leisurely walking. There's a little graveyard, a pretty chapel, a bakery and a decent restaurant nearby. From Sofia you can arrange transport.
  • Beautiful place, there is a museum and an church that can be visited. Can't go see upstairs though which is a shame because the view looked fantastic. There are some shops too if you want to get a little souvenir but they all sell a lot of same stuff.
  • A must do visit if you're staying in Sofia. It makes a great 8 hour trip combined with Boyana church. The monastery is early 19 century and has some great frescos depicting biblical stories in graphic form. Almost like a comic strip. Wonderful depictions of good & evil. Monastery is set within beautiful mountain scenery and worth following the path down to the river to see the graveyard and cascading waterfalls. A great day out.
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16 days in Bulgaria BY A USER FROM IRELAND June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in Sofia BY A USER FROM CROATIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 7 days in Bulgaria BY A USER FROM ISRAEL April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Sofia BY A USER FROM ITALY July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in Bulgaria, Bucharest & Istanbul BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA August, culture, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Bulgaria BY A USER FROM GERMANY June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Bansko BY A USER FROM ISRAEL January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 9 days in Sofia BY A USER FROM ROMANIA March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Bulgaria BY A USER FROM IRELAND August, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Bulgaria BY A USER FROM IRELAND June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 11 days in Bulgaria BY A USER FROM BELGIUM July, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in Sofia BY A USER FROM SOUTH KOREA January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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