Bachkovo Monastery - My Pamporovo - Official Tourist Portal

Tuesday 23 Jul 2024
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Bachkovo Monastery


The Bachkovo Monastery is the second largest Bulgarian monastery. Тhe Bachkovo cloister is situated in the valley of the Chepelare river (also known by the locals as Chaya, meaning Tea river), about 10 km south of the town. The monastery is surrounded by the hills of the mountains, which together with its size and antiquity make it one of the most popular one in Bulgaria. The monastery complex and its surroundings have become a well developed tourist destination with many shops, stalls and restaurants, surrounding the pedestrian promenade next to the monastery. Everything that grows or is produced in the Rhodope region is set here for sale: rare herbs, jams of wild berries, goat and buffalo yoghurt and cheese, woolen blankets and whatnot.

History and general information

The monastery was founded in 1083 by the Byzantine military commander of Georgian origin, Grigorii Bakuriani and his brother Abazii. Unfortunately, only the two-story ossuary, which is located about 300 meters from the present monastery complex has been preserved from the foundation to the present day. The ossuary is a unique historical site worth visiting for its ancient paintings, which rank among the most valuable works of Orthodox art from the 11th-12th century. The monastery was patronized by Tsar Ivan Alexander during the Second Bulgarian Empire, whose image is engraved in the arches of the porch of the ossuary in gratitude for his contribution in restoring the building. Like many other Bulgarian monasteries the Bachkovo monastery too houses a small church school (from the 11th century). An interesting fact is that after the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule in the late 14th century, Patriarch Euthymius was sent to the Bachkovo monastery in exile. His exile, however, did not discourage him or his students who continued to develop active religious and cultural activities within the walls of the monastery.

Although the Bachkovo monastery survived the first invasion of the Ottoman army, it later shared the fate of most other cloister lands and was plundered and destroyed. The monastery was restored in the late 15th century and its dinning room was reconstructed in 1601. A church named Virgin Mary was complete in 1604, which still stands to this very day. The murals in the dining room, created by an unknown person in 1605, are remarkable in their artistic value. The church, in turn, is also full of beautiful frescoes, but what mostly attracts visitors is the icon of the Virgin Mary, which is believed to be miraculous. A long queue of pilgrims comes here to pray to the miraculous image of the Virgin, which usually spreads far outside the entrance of the church. Besides the main church, the complex also includes two smaller temples - St Archangels (from 13th-14th century), which is located in the northern courtyard next to the main church and St Nicholas, built in the period 1834-1837. The Church of St. Nicholas that rises in the southern part of the courtyard, impresses with its preserved frescoes from 1841, the work of the hand of the great master painter Zahari Zograph (painted his own image among them). The monastery has its own museum, in which can be seen ritual objects from different periods.

Accommodation and food

The Bachkovo monastery welcomes visitors and has offered accommodation inside the very monastery complex for many years. Although it has a capacity of 200 beds, during the summer it is advisable to book the room in advance. Restaurants are abundant in the area of the monastery.

 How to get there?

The monastery is located on the main road from the town of Smolyan, a few kilometers from the village of Bachkovo (which also lies on this road). The monastery is hard to miss because of the many advertising signs, stalls and crowds of tourists that can be found around.

More in this category: « Trigrad Gorge

loga 2

Използваме "бисквитки", за да подобрим уебсайта и опита ви, когато го използвате. Бисквитките, използвани за основната работа на сайта, вече са заредени. За да научите повече за "бисквитките", които използваме и как да ги изтриете, вижте нашите Условия за защита на личните данни.

Приемам "бисквитки" от този сайт.