The greatness of Bulgarian history and nature


The Rila Monastery

The Rila Monastery is the largest center of Bulgarian spirituality and literature, founded in the first half of the 10th century by St. Ivan Rila - the spiritual protector of the Bulgarian people.

In the main church - "Nativity of the Virgin", the relics of the saint are kept. In the temple you can see frescoes, which are masterpieces of Bulgarian medieval painting. The oldest building in the monastery complex is the Hrel tower, built in the period 1334 - 1335 during the rule of the ruler Stefan Dušan. The tower is stone, five-storey, 23.60 meters high. On the top floor is the "Transfiguration of the Lord" chapel with frescoes from the 14th century. From there, a breathtaking cell opens to the monastery itself. In the Museum of the Rila Monastery, created at the end of the 19th century, you can see exceptional examples of Bulgarian and foreign art from the 15th to the 19th century. The most valuable exhibit is the finely carved wooden cross, the work of Father Raphael. He worked on his masterpiece for 20 years, and when he finished it in 1802, he went blind. The cross depicts 36 biblical scenes with over 600 miniature figures. The exposition includes examples of church art - wall paintings, icons, church utensils, liturgical vestments, enthroned crosses, handwritten and old printed books, prints, etc. The museum also keeps the first Bulgarian globe, made by Neofit Rilski in 1836 from cardboard, paper, ink and nails.

The icon gallery of the Rila Monastery presents 80 icons selected from the museum's collection from the XVIII-XIX centuries, as well as 28 portraits of the abbots of the monastery from 1860 to 2005. In the "Monastery farm" Museum, you will learn about part of the economic activity of the monastery in the period of the XVIII - XIX centuries. The old mill, the oven for baking bread, tools for logging and beekeeping have been preserved. The most interesting part of the museum is the pantry, where food was prepared for the monks and the numerous pilgrims who visited the monastery during the biggest Christian holidays. In terms of construction and layout, it is an exceptional construction creation. It is the work of master Alexi from the village of Rila.

The monastery also has an ethnographic collection, which contains fabrics, costumes, ornaments and original works of folk art from the 18th and 19th centuries, donated to the monastery by artisan associations and pilgrims from all over the Bulgarian lands. 3-4 km from the Rila Monastery is the cave in which St. Ivan Rilski has spent more than 7 years of his life. Don't forget to drink the healing water in the spring called Ayasmoto. It is a spring that never dries up or freezes, no matter what the weather outside. That is why it is believed that holy water flows from it.

The Stob Pyramids

The sandstone pyramids of Stob are among the most popular natural attractions for tourists in Bulgaria. They are near the village of Stob, in the region of the southwestern Rila mountain range.

The pyramids are most beautiful when seen at sunset or by moonlight. They offer shapes that are very picturesque and diverse. The wind, the rains, and the sun have been at work for thousands of years creating a fairytale out of a plain hill. The pyramids are made of earth clay and river sand that have been welded together for centuries. There are no rivers here nowadays but long ago melting glaciers flowed through the landscape, washing away part of the soil. Most of the pyramids are 20 to 32 ft. (6 to 10 m) high, some of them towering up to 40 ft. (12 m). They are up to 130 ft. (40 meters) in some areas.

Local legends tell stories of how the formations came to exist. One particular group of formations is called the Wedding. As the story goes, a man and a woman from the nearby village were getting married. The celebration had already started when the father of the groom cast his eyes upon the bride and immediately fell in love with her. He was about to ruin the wedding when suddenly the earth started shaking, a terrible noise filled the air and all of a sudden everybody turned into rocks. According to another legend, the mother of the groom disapproved the marriage and cast a spell on the young lovers. When the groom kissed the bride for the first time, everyone turned into solid rocks.

One of the most amazing times to visit the Stob Pyramids is in the moonlight when the soft colors and the remarkable shapes make the landscape look alien. A broad path meanders among the pyramids and leads to a hill with a panoramic view of the entire Rila Valley and its river that leads to The Rila Monastery set against snow-covered mountain peaks. The pyramids can be reached by an open path, and the trek is not difficult, about 30 minutes in one direction.


  Free cancellation
  Reserve now & Pay later
  Pickup included
  Distance: approx. 165 km in one direction
  Trip duration: 6-8 hours


  Drinkable water
  Air-conditioned vehicle
  Fuel and parking fees


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