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Rila Monastery – The Heart And Soul Of Bulgarian Tourism


Have you heard of Rila Monastery? And why is it important as a place both for tourism and religious aspects? Well, the Rila monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the world. It was built in the 10th century. Also, the Rila monastery is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. However, what pulls the tourist to visit Rila Monastery is the aesthetic architectural structure of the monastery. And when it comes to social exploration this monastery is considered as the literary center as well as spiritual dwelling.
And that is exactly why the Rila is the best place to visit in Bulgaria when it comes to world Heritage Site. Let us walk around the place and get to know more about it!

About Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery: Image Credit/

Rila monastery is absolutely a stunning structure to visit. Around the 10th century, a hermit named St John of Rila built this massive monastery structure. He made the place his ascetic dwelling till he was alive. However, the place later becomes his tomb. After which the place was eventually turned into a pilgrimage site for the orthodox Christians.
Now the place serves as the monastic complex and also becomes an integral part of Bulgarian social and spiritual symbol. Soon the monastery become the most visited tourist attraction in Bulgaria. Hence even if you have a tight schedule ahead during the Bulgarian tour, Rila Monastery should be on top of your list.

Also Read: Visit The Ancient European Country – Bulgaria

History of the place

Monastery at night
The monastery at night: Image Credit/

The History of the Rila monastery is marked for the 10th century. It was an orthodox monastery built by a hermit for his ascetic stay. And after his death, the place become one of the most sought holy pilgrimage places. Later around the 19th century, the monastery was partially destroyed by fire. Soon renovation was started in 1834 that lasted nearly 30 years to come. The new structure was a pivotal specimen of the Bulgarian Renaissance. Also, the structure becomes a symbol of Slavic culture for years to come.
Now, the monastery is not only a holy pilgrimage center but the most loved tourist spot in Bulgaria. Keeping the prosperity of the place in mind and also looking at the years the structure sustained, Rile Monastery become UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

Protection and management

Travel Bulgaria
Travel Bulgaria: Image Credit/travel Bulgaria. news

Every UNESCO World Heritage Site is protected with utter care and respect. They symbolize the culture and tradition of our past. Some of the places also reflect our beginnings and our roots. It helps us to understand our history better to make our future a bright one. The Rila Monastery is one such place that is taken care of with absolute sincerity.
The management and care are looked after concerning Religious affair Law that falls under the property law. The Cultural Heritage Law focuses on the study and research of the monastery. Also under this law, an avid promotion of the structure is taken care of. The protection area Law also takes care of the vicinity and the surrounding forest area. The forest place and the park are included as the national reserve area.

Also Read: Thracian Tomb Of Kazanlak-The Offbeat WHS Of Bulgaria

The architecture of Rila Monastery

Sofia Rila Monastery
Sofia Rila Monastery: Image Credit/

Rila Monastery is indeed the largest monastery in entire Bulgaria. The monastery is located deep in the forest surrounding lush green. The best part about the place is the isolation and serenity it carries with it. The exterior of the building is astoundingly beautiful. And that reminds me, that Balkan architecture is always impressively beautiful. The carvings on the walls are unique and extraordinary.
And so much to say there are only two entrances to get into the monastery. One is the Samokov Gate and the other is the Dupnista Gate. The holy church of virgin stands right at the heart of the Rila Monastery.

Time to visit and things to keep in mind

Rila_Monastery: Image Credit/

Tourism in Bulgaria is undoubtedly thriving. This Monastery is one reason among many others. Tourists visit the country around the year, so don’t waste time looking for the best time. Tourists are allowed to stay at Rila Monastery. There are several private rooms. However, at peak tourist time, pilgrims are given priority.
It is quite tricky to reach Rila Monastery, as there is only one bus that starts at sharp 10:40. And if you are looking for budget-friendly travel you better not miss the bus. Nevertheless, there is a minibus that goes shuttle from other WHS of Bulgaria. An advance booking is a must for this kind of trip.
The monastery is opened between 7 in the morning to 8 in the night. The entry fee to the monastery varies from adults to kids.

Also Read: Boyana Church – The Medieval Balkan Architecture Of Bulgaria

Rila Monastery is the soul of Bulgarian tourism and the heart of cultural heritage. If you are looking for peacefulness and serenity, Rila monastery is the best option. Tourists, who don’t intend to stay overnight, also visit the nearby WHS Boyana Church, yet another heritage marvel of Bulgaria. Make your plan, get your bag packed and explore the dream European place.
Bon Voyage!

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