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Rozhen monastery

Тhe Rozhen monastery is one of the few medieval monasteries, which has preserved its original appearance, authentic architecture and monumental pictorial art.
It is to be found 6 km east of Melnik, near the village of Rozhen, located on a high hill with wonderful view to Pirin and Belasitsa, amidst the famous Melnik Pyramids. The monastery and its Church of the Nativity of Virgin are the biggest in Pirin region. It is one of the biggest monasteries in Bulgaria.
ABOUT THE MONASTERY: The monastery was built in 1220.It is one of the oldest monasteries in Bulgaria. In the beginning of 7 th century it was destroyed by fire. In 1715 its restoration began.
In the 14th-17th centuries it is a spiritual and literary center, a calligraphic school works here, whose representatives-monks created the whimsical work of art “Interpretation of Jov”, ornamented with 117 open-worked miniatures. Unfortunately it was taken to Jerusalem in 1647. The Monastery is remarkable for its woodcarved iconostasis.
The monastery Church of the Nativity of Virgin has preserved mural paintings from 1597, 1611 and 1715 too. The mural paintings as well as some icons are exceptionally valuable monuments of our pictorial art. The stained glass on the windows dating back to the 1756 is a unique find from that period. Тhe old monastic refectory, the ossuary and the farm buildings are preserved too.
In 19 th century it was an important cultural and religious center within the region. The great Bulgarian revolutionary Yane Sandanski found shelter here during the last years of his life. His grave is nearby-beside the Church “St. Cyril and Methodius”, erected at his initiative.
Nowadays more than 20 monks live here. The church holiday is on the 8 th of September in honour of the Nativity of Virgin. The miraculous icon of Virgin Mary is one of the monastery treasures. There is a legend that a widow from Nikea has thrown the icon into the sea to save it from Teofil the Byzantine emperor. The icon has floated many years to the Greek shore. In 999 it has reached the gates of the Iviron monastery with an aureole of light.
There is a regular bus line coming from Sandanski to the village of Rozhen.
One can also reach Melnik by road in a 1 to 1.30 hours walk along a marked footpath through the Melnik Pyramids.One can get accommodation in the Monastery and there are several taverns in the village of Rozhen, offering traditional local cuisine and homemade Melnik wine.

Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
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Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
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Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
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Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
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Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
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Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
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Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
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Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
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Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery
Rozhen monastery