Rila Monastery is located in the northwest part of Rila Mountain and it is 117 kilometers away from the capital Sofia. It is believed that it was founded by Saint Ivan Rilski. In fact, he was leading a cloistered life in a cave not far away from the Monastery. The building of the complex was started by his students who used to visit him in the mountain seeking enlightenment in his teaching.
Rila Monastery and Melnik
Rila Monastery is the most renowned spiritual center in Bulgaria. The building consists of 5 storeys of which 4 are visible. The monastery is governed by the Patriarchate and not by the local bishop. There are only two other monasteries in Bulgaria that are run by the Patriarchate – Bachkovo Monastery and Troyan Monastery.
The Monastery was destroyed at the beginning of the 19th century but its reconstruction commenced in 1834 and was completed in 1862. The complex is an iconic monument of the Bulgarian Revival and it symbolizes the preserved Slavic cultural identity through many centuries of occupation. Since 1961, Rila Monastery is an UNESCO heritage site.
Melnik is the smallest town in Bulgaria and it is featured in the 100 tourist destinations of major importance. The historical museum shows the wine production in the region which used to be the main occupation of the local people.
We organize regular excursions to Rila Monastery and Melnik. Our minibuses and buses are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned. All seats in our vehicles are insured. If you prefer to go to Rila Monastery and Melnik just with your family, please contact us so we can create a bespoke quote for you.
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