Book without overpayments! -20% are already on the site!
Country Directory Country Directory
Country Directory Country Directory

Rila Monastery

The Rila Monastery is one of the most famous sights in Bulgaria, as well as the spiritual center of the country. In addition, it is one of the largest monasteries in the world. The Rila Monastery is located in the valley of the river of the same name at an altitude of 1150 meters above sea level.

The Rila Monastery was erected on the site of the death and betrayal of John of Rila, who was one of the patrons of Bulgaria.

The monastery is distinguished by its beautiful architecture, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Here you will also see beautiful frescoes, interesting arches, faces of saints and scenes from the Bible, a tower with a chapel. Philologists and historians often come here, because the books in the local library are of great interest to them - many of them, by the way, exist only in one copy.

The Rila Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Fund. As we said above, the monastery is still active to this day - eight monks live in it today.

The Rila Monastery also attracts tourists by the fact that they have a real opportunity to have a hand in the shrines stored here. For example, they say that the relics of St. John of Rila have miraculous properties, so many people come here to visit them. People who want to be healed of various ailments also rush to the images of John of Rylsky, which are kept in the chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.

There are miraculous icons in the monastery that can heal many diseases. Among them is the image of the Mother of God "Hodegetria" ("Guide"). It should be noted that this is not an ordinary icon that we are used to seeing - in fact, it is a reliquary in which the remains of thirty-two saints are kept, including Lazarus, the First Martyr Stephen, the apostles Andrew and Matthew, etc.

The museum is located in the northern part of the Rila Monastery. Its main exhibit is the carved cross of the monk Raphael - its height is about 80 centimeters, it is made of linden wood. It is noteworthy that the work on the manufacture of the cross was carried out for twelve years, during which the master lost his sight and acquired other health problems. About a hundred biblical scenes are depicted on the cross and more than six hundred figures of saints are carved, each of which is the size of a grain of rice.

In the monastery museum you will also see a large collection of weapons, coins and icons. An important part of the monastery is the library, which contains unique manuscripts and old books.

It is known that John of Rila spent the last days of his life in a cave, and you can visit it as part of an excursion to the Rila Monastery.

You can get to the Rila Monastery on any day of the week from 8.00 to 18.00. In summer, tourists are allowed to climb the tower, from which you can admire the picturesque views of the surroundings.

You can take part in an excursion to the Rila Monastery by booking a tour in Bansko. Our managers will tell you about all the details of the trip.