Dragalevtsi Monastery, Sofia

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#81 of 214 in Things to do in Sofia
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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  • Easy to reach by metro to Vitosha (terminal). Take bus number 93, back to terminal. a few hundred metres walking and climbing. Displacement kosten2x nothing and monastery can be seen on the outside and in the meantime you walk in a beautiful nature park. Is seriously uphill.
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  • The place was very popular when we got there and there were a lot of people queuing up to pray so we didn't go in the actual building, although from outside it did look an impressive interior.  more »
  • The Dragalevtsi monastery can be combined very well with a detour from the Vitosha mountain. We were previously with the lift on the mountain (Dragalevtsi - Goli Vrah). From the valley station, a beautiful trail through the forest lead to the monastery (about 1.5 h hours). The entrance to the monastery is quite expensive with 10 leva.
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