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The Bulgarian monasteries in:
Rila Mountain, Pirin Mountain, Rhodopes Mountain, Balkan (Stara Planina) Mountain, Vitosha Mountain, rock monasteries

The Rila Mountain


Rila Monastery
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Rila is the highest mountain in Bulgaria. At 2925 m, Musala Peak is the highest peak in the Balkans and all of South-Eastern Europe. The Rila area has an austere alpine beauty, with stone ridges, towering peaks, deep precipices and numerous crystal-clear lakes (more than 140) and springs. The name of the mountain is thought to originate from a Thracian word signifying "rich in water". Three of the largest Bulgarian rivers spring from the mountain - the Maritza, the Iskar, and the Mesta; some of the largest tributaries of the Struma also originate here. The river valley separates the mountain into four regions. Twelve of the eighteen highest Rila peaks above 2700 m, are situated in the Eastern region. The main Balkan water shed passes through the Middle region - between the Black Sea and Aegean basin. The most alpine part is located in the Northwestern region. The Parangalitza reserve and the group of the Seven Rila Lakes are among the most attractive natural sites.


Rila Monastery
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One may hike to the Rila Monastery - the largest monastery complex in Bulgaria. It is situated deep in the heart of the mountains. It is a national historical reserve, is on the UNESCO world natural and cultural heritage list, is a recipient of the Golden Apple Award of F.I.J.E.T., and is a fascinating local and international tourist site. St Ivan Rilski or his disciples founded it in the 10th century. The existing buildings date from the 14th century, when the Hrelio Tower was erected (1335). It took 30 years to build the current monastery. After several plunderings and burnings, the monastery was restored in the 19th century. Many famous builders of that time contributed to the restoration - Master Pavel Ivanovich, Alexii Riletz, and master Milenko.


Rila Monastery, Paintings
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The rich wall paintings are the work of iconographers from the Samokov and Bansko art schools - Zahari Zograph, St. Dospevski, T. Vishanov, and Molerov. The woodcarvings are representative of the typical renaissance rich relief ornaments in the Mount Athos style. Throughout the centuries, the monastery has been one of the most important cultural, scholarly and writing centers, and the home of many famous clerics. In the 15th century, it was a literary center. Although it has been repeatedly plundered, it has a book collection numbering more than 32,000 volumes, including 9000 old typographic copies, 250 manuscripts from the 11th - 19th centuries, and some 100 annotation manuscripts.


Rila Monastery, Hrelyo's Tower
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Rila Monastery, Paintings
Wed, 22 August, 2007 16:46

 


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This page is a part of Golden sands resort official web site http://www.goldensands.bg

Last update: Wed, 22 August, 2007 16:46