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Rila shares its name with the mountains that lie just outside its borders. Inhabited by the Greeks and the Romans historically, this small village brings history to your next holiday journey.
The Rila Monastery, still home to about 60 monks, was founded in the 10th century and is one of the most important cultural monuments that Bulgaria offers.
It is believed that the monastery was founded by St. Ivan of Rila during the rule of Tsar Peter I.
From the outside, the monastery looks more like a defensive fortress. You’ll find traditional views when you reach the interior, especially when approaching the main church that was added to the monastery in the 19th century. There are 5 domes, 3 altars, and two side chapels within the structure. The gold-plated iconostasis tool 5 years to create with the cooperative work of 4 craftsman.
Icons from the 14th century are houses on the church as well.
The courtyard and the arched outer corridors are a stunning sight to behold. The frescoes are stunning, especially along the west portico, and must be seen to be appreciated.
The monastery offers a museum to tour that includes Rafail’s Cross. This wooden crucifix was created using magnifying lenses and fine burins to create 650 miniature figures and more than 100 religious scenes. Rafail, the monk who crafted this masterpiece, took at least 12 years to complete it.
Rila may be a small village and used to stage excursions into the surrounding mountains, but it has its own hidden gems to discover. With treasures such as these to find, it is the perfect getaway destination to choose.
Travel to Rila, Bulgaria
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