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Dragalevtsi Monastery, Sofia

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Dragalevtsi Monastery of the Holy Mother of God of Vitosha is a Bulgarian Orthodox monastery on the lower slopes of Vitosha mountain on the outskirts of the capital Sofia in western Bulgaria. Founded in the mid-14th century by Bulgarian tsar Ivan Alexander, the monastery was abandoned after the Ottoman conquest of Sofia and reestablished in the late 15th century, when it became an important literary centre. The monastery church and some of its frescoes date from this period.HistoryLocated 3km south of the capital Sofia's neighbourhood of Dragalevtsi, Dragalevtsi Monastery was established by Tsar Ivan Alexander (r. 1331–1371) in 1345 at the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire. The monastery was first mentioned in the Vitosha Charter issued before 1382 by Tsar Ivan Shishman (r. 1371–1395). The charter granted lands and tax exemptions to Dragalevtsi Monastery, including ownership of the village of Novachene.After Sofia fell to the Ottomans in 1382, the monastery was disbanded and its buildings destroyed. It was rebuilt in the second half of the 15th century with the financial support of local feudal lord Radoslav Mavar and rapidly developed into a repository of Bulgarian cultural records. In 1612, while staying at Dragalevtsi Monastery, the monk Job Kasinets from Timişoara wrote the Boyana Beadroll, a list of medieval Bulgarian rulers. The document shows the extent to which medieval rulers were remembered in 17th-century Bulgarian lands. Other manuscripts completed in this period at the monastery's scriptorium include Priest Nicholas' Gospel of 1469, the Dragalevtsi Gospel of 1534 and a psalter finished in 1598.
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Set yourself up for easy and convenient access to Sofia's historical core and its most popular tourist sites by staying in an upscale hotel in the city center. While you'll find some hotels on the main boulevard, look for modern hotels off the main streets to keep costs lower. Staying outside the center in the outlying neighborhoods means you'll need to use public transportation, but the network is extensive and accommodation prices farther out are lower. For a real budget-friendly option, consider staying in a hostel; the city boasts a wide array of these, many of which include breakfast.
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  • A lovely little monastery on the mountain. A gorgeous peaceful place perfect to escape from sofia. We spent time in the beautiful gardens and lit candles for loved ones. Sofia has ZERO tranquillity an...  more »
  • nice neighbourhood monastery at the foot of Vitosha, easy to be reached , with a nice small church , a beautiful garden and some say a miracle spring inside  more »
  • We force to Dragalevtsi Monastery after we went to Boyana Church and it was snowing We parked below the monastery and finished the trip with a trek through the forest , following some snow covered pat...  more »