Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery is the biggest and most famous of Bulgaria’s monasteries. UNESCO site, it is one of the most important and memorable cultural monuments and travel hot spots on the Balkans.

Rila Monastery, 10th century

Rila Monastery was founded by a hermit, St John of Rila, in the 10th century, and eventually became a monastic center that played a primary role in the spiritual history of medieval Bulgaria.

Rila Monastery, the Hrelio Tower, 14th century

Be fascinated by Rila Monastery’s exquisite architecture, rich murals and vast collection of icons, woodcarvings, manuals and bibles written on parchment, and other church treasures, a library containing thousands of books, old weapons, coins, etc.

Rila Monastery, view

Most of its early 10th-century architecture was destroyed by fire. The five-domed Birth of the Blessed Virgin Church, the original monastery kitchen and the other present buildings date from the 19th century, with the exception of the 14th-century Hrelyo’s Tower.

Rila Monastery, view 8


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Watch our Rila Monastery Impressions short virtual sightseeing tour (video clip, 02:09) Nessebur Impressions video clip (02:46)