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Bulgaria travel facts

Bulgaria map
Area (sq km): 110,550
Population: 7,450,349
Nationality: Bulgarian
Local Name: Bulgaria
Language: Bulgarian,
Turkish,
Romani
Time Zone: +1 GMT
Currency: 1 lev = 100 stotinki
Rate: www.xe.com
Capital: Sofia
Dialling Code: +387
Electricity: 220V/50Hz
Internet Code: .bg
Religion: Bulgarian Orthodox,
Muslim
Climate: Mediterranean
Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Inoculations: None
Driving: Right
Int'l License: Required
Banking: M-F 9.00-16.00
Major Airports: Burgas(BOJ),
Plovdiv(PDV),
Sofia(SOF),
Varna(VAR)

Bulgaria apartment rentals and monasteries

Built into mountains, rising from gorges and resting in the countryside are the great monasteries in Bulgaria and you can visit them whilst staying in a Bulgaria apartment. Visit the imposing Rila Monastery, the art in Bachkovo Monastery and the Dryanovo Monastery.

Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery

There are over 160 functional monasteries in Bulgaria, ready to welcome you from your Bulgaria apartment. Not only are they religious houses, but these cloisters have been the seat of Bulgarian art and cultural preservation since Christianity became commonplace around 900 AD. The monasteries are impressive structures and complexes that will ensnare the senses and encourage calmness and inner reflection. Many a monastery in Bulgaria is filled with gorgeous artwork, murals and religious icons representing the talented artists in the country.

Many are rich in folklore and stories casting a mythical aura. Some were even great protectorates of the country during the Ottoman occupation when they were the centres of the revolutionaries. Thus, the monasteries in Bulgaria represent much more than religion and are in fact a testament to the legacy of the strong willed Bulgarian culture. When you book Bulgaria villas do be sure to visit these iconic places of worship and history.

Rila Monastery from a Bulgaria apartment

St Ivan Rilski received his ecclesiastical education in Bulgaria at St Dimitar Monastery. He then became a monk and soon after, a hermit. He lived his days on Rila Mountain quietly tending to the village people and spreading the world of God to the locals. His unpretentious manner earned him great respect and his holy and benevolent reputation reached the King.

The King made a visit to Rila Mountain to bestow gifts of gold upon St Ivan Rilski. St Ivan Rilski politely refused. Word of his kindly nature spread and soon the monk had followers who also came to live on Rila Mountain. And so with these devoted followers and their dwelling begins the story of the greatest Bulgarian monastery in history, Rila Monastery, which you can see from a Bulgaria apartment.

Rila Monastery is the largest monastery in Bulgaria and was funded by generous donations from noble lords. It was reconstructed after the Ottomans destroyed much of it. Today it holds an impressive collection of wall paintings including scenes of the life of the great and revered St Ivan Rilski.

Bachkovo Monastery from a Bulgaria apartment

Bachkovo Monastery like so many others suffered during the Ottoman seizure of Bulgaria. It became the place of exile for the valiant St Evtimii Tarnovski at the end of the 14th Century. After the Ottoman rule the monastery was attacked, plundered and left in ashes.

The following century saw the renovation of the monastery, Bulgaria’s second largest. Bachkovo Monastery is rich in art. Its wall paintings and murals are regarded as a prized art collection and can be visited from a Bulgaria apartment. Beyond that, a glorious library rich in old manuscripts and books was uncovered making it an intricate part of the wealth of the Bachkovo Monastery.

Dryanovo Monastery & Vasil Levski

The Dryanovo Monastery sits near a river of the same name and is made from the nearby stone of the Stara Planina Mountain. Dubbed St Archangel Michail, the monastery is a magnificent sight to behold. During the Ottoman rule the building was twice burnt, but like so many of Bulgaria’s precious structures this one too was rebuilt to its original glory.

The history of Dryanovo Monastery tells tales not only of great religious devotion, but speaks of militia and revolution. Many freedom fighters including the legendary man of liberty, Vasil Levski holed up in the monastery. Here they found godly protection and respite while plotting the national liberation movement. The sanctuary of Dryanovo Monastery played a key role in the liberation of Bulgaria.

Discovering the many facets of the rolls these monasteries have played throughout time is no doubt a welcome addition to a Bulgaria apartment holiday.

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