Rila Monastery – a place to see

Good day , dear friends and travelers. Maybe the love for travelling and exploring new places and magnificent buildings, monasteries and creations of human mind and skills. This post will be about St ” Ivan Rilski ” monastery , which i situated in Rila mountain on 1147 m above the ground and on 117 km distance from our capital of Bulgaria- Sofia.



We started a trip to this wonderful monument and biggest monastery on the Balkans with my wife and a friend of ours, few months ago from Sofia. When you travel by car , it is the best way to see many things and to stop to a different places, for buying souvenirs, taken pictures or just enjoy the marvels of the surrounding nature. From Sofia we took south direction, heading to Dupnitza , where fro there is a curve to the Rila Monsatery. All the road signs are in Bulgarian and English , this way you will find no trouble , if you decide to take this route by yourself.

The high way to Dupnitza and Blagoevgrad is very nice and plus the curves  in the mountain, we made to reach to the monastery for and hour and 20 minutes. There is a parking in front if the monastery which will cost you 2 leva ( 1 euro) . Form now on I will mention the prices in euro. There is a special energy when you stand up in front of the big porch of the monastery, it is like you have approached one marvelous building and a place for holy rituals and many kept memories about the religious and cultural history of Bulgaria.

The monastery was build in the X century A. C. and has 4 floors only structure, all the inner yard is with paved stones. Ivan Rilski is a holly person and considered to be the protector of Bulgarian people. He was a humble man, devoted to God and determined to help people . The traditional thing when you go to an orthodox church  , is to light a candle and buy a bottle of  “holly water”. This is water which was blessed with the prays of the monks in the monastery. ” Holly water “is related with the skills of Jesus to walk on the water and turn in into wine. A bottle of this water will cost you 0.5 Eur. One of the most interesting things are the frescoes in the monastery and in the main church, also there are many icons held there from 14th to 15 the century. All these marvelous work was done by many master from Bansko, Razlog and Samokov. The most popular and well known are Zahary Zograf and Dimitur Zograf.


There is one interesting story about an art-fact held in the monastery. It is Raphail cross, made by a monk from wood by size 81 * 43 cm. The master has used small instrument and many lenses, in order to make and create 104 religious scenes and 650 small figures. The masterpiece was finished in 12 years , 1802 and after the monk lost his eyesight.

In the back side on the monastery , right after the entrance there is a place for  special Bulgarian food. It is called “mekici” , they will cost you 0.25 euro a piece and are eaten with powder of sugar over them. They also can be tasted with yogurt, as we know it in Bulgaria – airian ( 0,5 euro).

This is a place which every one could and has to see. Rila monastery is not just a holly place, it is a symbol of cultural, religious and historical spirit. The surrounding grandeur of mountain Rila gives to this place a special scent of harmony.


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