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Monasteries near Sofia

16 Monasteries near Sofia in 3 days

1st  Day

Rila Monastery
Popular Monastery Popular Name Rila Monastery
Orthodox Name Saint Ivan of Rila

The Rila monastery lies in the very Rila mountain, at 1,147 meters above sea level. It is situated 117km away from Sofia to the south, and is no doubt the most popular tourist site among all monasteries in Bulgaria equally for its size, natural surroundings, architecture, wall paintings and ancient history. The monastery is flanked by the small mountain rivers of Rilska and Drushlyavitsa and is only 4 hours walking distance from the Malyovitsa peak, rising at 2,729 meters above sea level. The highest peak of the Rila mountain, Mousala (2925 meters), which is also the Balkan peninsula's highest point, is further away at about 8 hours' walk. The monastery offers a great view to the surrounding peaks of the mountain and represents a developed tourist sight with all the accompanying facilities such as souvenir shops, restaurants and inns.

2  Day

1. Boyana Church of St.Nikola and St.Pantaleimon

Located on the outskirts of Sofia, Boyana Church consists of three buildings. The eastern church was built in the 10th century, then enlarged at the beginning of the 13th century by Sebastocrator Kaloyan, who ordered a second two storey building to be erected next to it. The frescoes in this second church, painted in 1259, make it one of the most important collections of medieval paintings. The ensemble is completed by a third church, built at the beginning of the 19th century. This site is one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art.

2.Dragalevtsi Monastery
Popular Name : Dragalevtsi Monastery
Orthodox Name :Virgin Mary of Vitosha

The Dragalevtsi monastery, named "Virgin Mary of Vitosha", is located about 3 km kilometers south of the village of Dragalevtsi (which became formally a quarter of Sofia a few years ago), up in the lower parts of the Vitosha mountain. One of the most beautiful monasteries, it could be a perfect stop during a weekend trip in the mountain.

3.Bistritza Monastery St. Petka
Popular Name Bistritza Monastery St. Petka
Orthodox Name St. Petka

The Bistritsa monastery "St. Petka" is situated in the Kalugerovi Livadi area of the Vitosha mountain. It lies in the southern ooutskirts of the village of Bistritsa, some 15km away from the Sofia city.

4.Kokalyane Monastery
Popular Name Kokalyane Monastery
Orthodox Name St. Arhangel Michael

The Kokalyane cloister, St Archangel Michael, is also known as the Urvich monastery. It is situated amid a beautiful scenery of the Plana mountain, about 4km away from the village of Kokalyane (in the outskirts of the city of Sofia) and some 6km to the northeast of the village of Zheleznitsa.
More information for Kokalyane Monastery

5.Pasarel Monastery
Popular Name Pasarel Monastery
Orthodox Name St. St. Apostles Peter and Paul

The Pasarel monastery "St. St. Apostles Peter and Paul" is situated about 5km to the southeast of the village of Pasarel, down the old road that connected the city of Sofia with the town of Samokov. The monastery lies among the beautiful meanders of the Iskar River. Pasarel in turn is situated about 31km to the southeast of the ring road of Sofia.

6.German Monastery
Popular Name German Monastery
Orthodox Name St. Ivan Rilski

The German monastery, "St Ivan of Rila", is situated in a beautiful forestry area of the Lozen mountain close to Sofia. The monastery lies about 5km to the southeast of the village of German, which in turn is just 15km to the southeast of the city of Sofia.

7.Lozen Monastery
Popular Name Lozen Monastery
Orthodox Name St Spas

The Lozen monastery, St Spas, can be reached on foot from the eastern end of the Lozen village in the suburbs of Sofia. It takes 20-30 minutes to get there from the village by following the road to the highest peak in the Lozen mountain - Polovrak.

3 th Day

1.Eleshnitsa Monastery
Popular Name Eleshnitsa Monastery
Orthodox Name St Virgin Mary

The Eleshnitsa monastery "St Virgin May" is situated just above the village of Eleshnitsa (named Yordankino up to 1991), a few kilometers to the east of Sofia. It lies in the valley of the Yakovishtitsa river in the Western part of the Balkan mountain, 4km to the northeast of the village.

2.Seslavtsi Monastery
Popular Name Seslavtsi Monastery
Orthodox Name St. Nicolas

The Seslavtsi monastery "St Nikolay Mirikliiski" is situated above the village of Seslavtsi, some 21km to the east of Sofia. The village is easy to reach by following the signs to Kremikovtsi. The monastery, of which the church is the only remaining building, lies in the southern slopes of the Western Balkan mountain.

3.Kremikovtsi Monastery
Popular Name Kremikovtsi Monastery
Orthodox Name St. George the Victorious

The Kremikovtsi monastery, named St George, is located about 3km away from the quarter of Kremikovtsi, up in the lower parts of the Balkan mountain. While travelling on the way to the monastery, the visitor starts to feel sorry for having chosen it as a destination for the ugly places the road passes through - industrial sites and dilapidated corporate hostels for accommodation of blue-collar workers at the nearly steel mill. Yet after getting out of the very quarter of Kremikovtsi, one is taken by the beautiful landscape of the monastery's surrounding, where no trace of the polluted air or the unpleasant view at the foot of the hills is to be found.

4.Obradovski Monastery
Popular Name Obradovski Monastery
Orthodox Name St Mina

The Obradovtsi monastery named "St Martyr Mina" lies 7.5km to the northeast of Sofia in the former village of Obradovtsi, currently a quarter of Sofia. It is built on the southern bank of the Vladayska river amid flowery meadows.

5.Ilientsi Monastery
Popular Name Ilientsi Monastery
Orthodox Name St. Prophet Ilia

The Ilientsi monastery "St Prophet Ilia" is situated in the Sofia quarter of Ilientsi, on 13 Petunia st. "St Prophet Ilia" is one of few Bulgarian monasteries that are built in the field and in close proximity to houses. It consists of a church, a one-storey residential building, a fountain and a wooden belltower next to it.

6.Klisura Monastery St. Petka
Popular Name Klisura Monastery St. Petka
Orthodox Name St. Petka Paraskeva

Besides the more popular Klisura monastery in the Balkan mountain, there is another monastery carrying the same name, called after the nearby village of Klisura. The latter lies in the outskirts of Sofia, just a few km away from the town of Bankya.

7.Divotino Monastery
Popular Name Divotino Monastery
Orthodox Name Holy Trinity

The Divotino monastery "Holy Trinity" is one of the oldest and best-preserved cloisters in the Sofia region. At present, it functions as a monk brotherhood. The monastery lies in the northern slopes of the Lyulin Mountain, about 10km away from the village of Divotino and 4km to the southwest of the Michailovo quarter of the town of Bankya. The place is exceptionally picturesque and wild, while the monastery is surrounded by wooded hills and two brooks that cross by its walls.

8.Gorna Banya Monastery
Popular Name Gorna Banya Monastery
Orthodox Name St. St. Cyril and Methodius

The Gorna Banya monastery, also known as the Lyulin monastery (after the Lyulin mountain in which it nests) is named after the St Cyril and St Methodius. It is located 5-6km away from the Gorna Banya quarter of Sofia.


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