Rila Monastery - details and images

Founded in the X-th century, the Rila Monastery is billed as the most important cultural monument, historical and architectural monuments of Bulgaria and southern Europe. Also in 1999 the monastery is etched on a leva banknote, currency of Bulgaria.

The national culture is said that the monastery was founded by the hermit Ivan of Rila, and its name was given by Tsar Peter I (927-968). The locals also say that in those times hermit living in a cave located near the monastery, and it was built by those who went in the Rila mountains to learn from Ivan the Lord.

Over the years the monastery was respected and supported by the Bulgarian state authorities, and each secretary who reigned until the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire donated part of his fortune for her to be called today a historical monument.

The main monastery church was built in the 19th century by architect Paul Ioanov. He worked to build the church in 1834 until 1837.

The monastery is a complex of buildings with unique architectural style.
The building has five domes, three altars and two chapels. The most valuable part of this church is the iconostasis, which is plated with gold. Indoor sculptures were made in the five years by four craftsmen.

In the central part is Hrelyo Tower - a stone fortification, the only building that survived the medieval period that (1335).
In the newly built eastern wing of the monastery was a museum hosting Hrelyo church gate, ancient weapons used by guards past the monastery and certificates of merit of the map of Bulgaria.

Rila Monastery Museum is known worldwide for hosting Raphael's Cross, a cross made from a single piece of wood the size of 81x43 inches. The monk who built it and painted it that 104 religious scenes and 650 miniature figures and letters bore the name of Raphael. He worked for 12 years to also leave behind a work of art, unique in the world. After completion of the cross in 1802, blind monk.

Rila Monastery is on the UNESCO list as a monument of international cultural value.

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