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The Rila Monastery

The monastery of Saint Ivan Rilski, better known as the Rila Monastery, is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is located in the Southwest Rila Mountain and has about 60 monks.

rila monastery

The monastery was founded in the 10th century and then reconstructed in the 19th century. It is the typical example of the Bulgarian Renaissance, which can be seen in the frescoes written by Zahari Zograf.

There are 5 museums on the territory and you can ask for a single ticket as it will be cheaper. The relics of St. Ivan Rilski are located in the church where the entrance is free and everyone can go.

Close to the Monastery is the cave, where Ivan Rilski spent more than 7 years of his life. At the bottom there is a small tunnel, which, according to beliefs, can only pass people with pure souls, and sinners - not.

monastery architecture
monastery paintings

We advise you to take comfortable shoes. In the church they offer special scarves to wrap. On the territory of the monastery there are free toilets.

beautiful monastery

As you enter the Monastery, you can claim that you have seen one of the most importantcultural and historical places in Bulgaria. For the Bulgarians, Ivan Rilski is a very important saint, so his face is on the1 lev coin. You can keep a coin to remember your trip to Bulgaria.

1 lev coins

Frequently asked questions – F.A.Q.