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"Monastère + grotte ou vivait le Saint John."
"UNESCO World Heritage Flanked by rivers amid spectacular mountain scenery, Rila Monastery, fortresslike from the outside, is clearly an impressive place. Its history lives up to its appearance. The monastery's eventful existence began with Ivan Rilski, who was the leader of a monastic colony of hermits. He was famous for having healing powers and his bones later became much in demand among medieval rulers- the bones were moved in 1183 to Esztergom, until eventually, after both Byzantine and Bulgarian interventions, they were returned to the monastery in 1469. The buildings themselves have had no less of an adventurous time, being regularly sacked and rebuilt. The current buildings date from the 1830s, a period of strong national revival. Once inside the forbidding walls, the visitor is likely to be amazed by the charm and the size of the structure. The magnificent Nativity church is the largest monastic church in Bulgaria and the irregular-shaped courtyard is bounded by four levels of delightfully striped and checkered colonnaded balconies. Higgledy-piggledy, red-tiled roofs and scattered domes add to the overall impression. There is more to the place than charm, however. The museum contains the remarkable Rila Cross, a double-sided crucifix carved by Brother Raphael between 1790 and 1802. The main church is covered with dramatic and colorful frescoes, graphically depicting the different fates awaiting the saved and the sinners. Proclaimed as a national museum in 1961 by the Bulgarian government and included on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites in 1983, Rila Monastery nonetheless remains a working monastery where guests may stay in sparsely furnished "guest cells." The abbot is determined that it remain the place of pilgrimage it has been for more than 1,000 years."
"The Rila Monastery is not only a major landmark of Bulgaria, it is also allowing you to stay for the night in the dorms to sleep with the monks ! The silence come when thr sun sets and you discover another atmosphere surrounded by moutains and the noice of the river near by. Sleeping here is cheap, but be careful you need to arrive before 6pm and pay by cash"
"Rilski Manastir, Kyustendil, Bulgaria"