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Rila Monastery, Rila

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 800+ reviews on the web
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. Use our Rila vacation planner to arrange your visit to Rila Monastery and other attractions in Rila.
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  • Listed in the sites ' Unesco World Heritage site since 1983, the monastery which is located at an elevation of 1,147 meters is undoubtedly one of the most famous sights of Bulgaria. Founded in the 10th century by followers of St John of Rila, a hermit who spent 12 years in contemplation in a deep gout of Rila mountain, the cave then moved in the forest, living in a burrow dug into a tree, feeding on grass and without meeting anyone. The monastery is a place of pilgrimage for the whole Bulgarian people, it seems that everyone should go here at least once in their lifetime. After visiting the Church we enter the Museum next door, paying 4 lev apiece. Here we can admire icons, paintings from the history of the monastery, old robes and books, including the first written in the Bulgarian language.
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  • It is a must-see to learn the history of Bulgaria since its origins to the present day. The place is a real Marvel both for its architecture and its location and when a good guide makes you learn, through ancient objects, the course of the history of a nation you understand the great importance of this monastery. NOT TE LO PIERDAS!
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  • When see you the photos already you think it is beautiful but then you get there... the reality surpasses fiction and it is much more large what they imagined. The bad news is that to go with transport audience from Sofia is a roll, the bus, which departs from the station of Ovcha Kupel, leave you only there 2 h, and if you also like to eat there is poquisimo time... The monastery is precious and paintings are hab preserved very well. The rear section is surrounded by restaurants and shops. Not go with miniskirt or short sleeves because there are signs that prohibit entering the Church of the monastery with these clothes.
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  • It is, as the name suggests, a monastery. And it is very nice and worth seeing for sure. The church is full of splendour. Go there if you like these things. If you want to escape from the city (some other reviews stress that thing): go hiking instead. Everything around the cultural thing as such could be heavily improved. Like there should be a real cafe instead of yoghurt sold from a little window etc.
  • Being the holiest place in Bulgaria, the Unesco listed Rila monastery, even under rains, attracted lot of tourists and pilgrims. The entrance colonnades surrounding the cathedral has colourful murals and painting covering all wall and domed-ceiling spaces, showing images not only the Saints, but also demons and the scenes in the hell, which was rarely seen in other cathedral. It take around 2 .5 hour to arrive there from Sofia by public bus and you need around 2 hours to explore the whole complex.
  • Not going to bore you with a long review. A long drive up the mountain. The entrance is free but if you want to see be museum then its 8 Levas. If you are a women and want to enter the museum, then you have to be dressed conservative! As they wouldn't let my GF in without her covering her arms. Anyhow worth the visit and the spring water inside is very refreshing.
  • Fantastic monastery. Very beautiful and spiritual.
  • A well preserved monastery deep in to the Rila montain. The clear air and relatively low altitude makes it the perfect place to escape from the city for several hours. It has high attendance and the road to there can be a little ruff as it has many sharp turns for around 20km just before the monastery.
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