Rilski Manastir Travel Guide

  • The Nativity of the Virgin
    The Nativity of the Virgin
    by Svetoslav
  • Transportation
    by Svetoslav
  • Rilski Manastir
    by germanus

Rilski Manastir Things to Do

  • Walk around the Monastery

    This is what I usually do there. Walk around, light a candle at the Church and sit somewhere calm to enjoy the atmosphere. Many photos, of course :-)Wiki: Rila Monastery

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  • The Wall of the Wishes

    The wall of the wishes is near by the St Ivan of Rila 'cave'. If you want to visit the site, leave the Monastery through the Samokov door and continue along the river. This few kilometers walk could be pleasant if there weren't the numerous cars passing up and down the hill. The beginning of the trail is well marked - at least 2-3 cars parked, a...

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  • Rila Monastery

    "Rila MonasteryRaising as a giant in the enchanted Rila forest.A mighty fire in the dark ,a granite pilon of freedom.Spreading knowledge and faith from centuries with all its means. For this the people praise him and relentlessly fly to him . To send there their prayers to God, so he releases them from evil. To let peace on earth, And good in...

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Rilski Manastir Restaurants

  • Local Restaurant

    Taking the tour of the monastery makes you hungry ,so After you exit the Samokov gate ,there is a tavern situated on your left ,just over the river. It offers local bulgarian meals , fresh trout that is grown in the region , grill , beer.....

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  • The Monastery Bakery

    Built in 1866 as the sign on the roof indicates ,the Monastery bakery has always hot home made bread and donuts. Yogurt and milk can be bought here too

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  • dinner and breakfast

    I had dinner at the Drushlihvitsa restaurant. The meals are about 5 lv and the wine you must try is the local Rilski Monastery wine. The staff is friendly and can speak English. Breakfast I got at the Bakery: its open during daylight and is next to the Rila Restaurant. It is a good place for cheap and healthy breakfast, selling all kinds of bread...

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Rilski Manastir Nightlife

  • by ger4444 Updated Mar 20, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Try to see the monastary after sunset. Its fantastic to see the evening fall over the monastary!
    When the moastary gates are closed, have a drink (or more) at the terrace of the Rila restaurant: they have all sorts of liquers and vodkas

    Dress Code: Wear casual clothes when looking at the monastary when the evening is falling. (dont wear sunglasses and it is not obligued to wear a tie)

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Rilski Manastir Transportation

  • Loop shuttle to Rila Monastery

    A new shuttle bus will start operating from mid April that will include transfer to Rila Monastery, free time there, transfer to Boyana Church (another UNESCO site) and then back to the center of Sofia.

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  • Publick transport Sofia to Rila...

    From Sofia go by tram 5 to Ovcha Kupel bus station (don´t forget to by the ticket befor, only some drivers sell tickets). There is a bus to the Monastery at 10.20 (Lv 10.- in september 08) taking about 2.15 to 2.30 hour. A bus back leaves at 3 in the afternoon.

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  • buses from Rilski Manastir

    You can find the timetable for buses from Rilski Manastir at the door of the reception for the accommodation, just to the right of the museum. On my back way for Sofia, I took the buses from Rilski Manastir to Dupnica and from Dupnica to Sofia. Just only one time transfer!

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Rilski Manastir Shopping

  • Souvenirs and booklets

    At the middle of the courtyard you find a kiosk where you can buy all kinds of site-related touristic memorabilia /souvenirs for religious people; such as little iron plates of icons, crosses etc. Also there is at the Samokov gate a stall selling booklets in English about the monastery (5 lv)

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  • Icon and Souvenir Shop

    Located at the base of the Hreljo Tower ,the icon and souvenirs shop offers a great variety of authentic bulgarian art and crafts. Aside of the beautiful Orthodox Icons , you can buy here traditional bulgarian costumes, dishes with the print of the monastery and all kinds of other things ,depending on how much money you wanna spend.

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  • Rilski Manastir Hotels

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Rilski Manastir Local Customs

  • The old monastery nun

    Isn't she nice , the old monastery nun , all dressed in black, sitting at the entrance of the church ,with all the frescoes around her. It is the same one that I saw little earlier washing the carpets. She looks soo...peaceful? serene?

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  • Washing machine

    you don't see a natural washing machine every day, the power of water turning around the huge bin serves to wash the local clothes and the carpets of the church

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  • "Tepavitsa" - Natural Washing Machine

    "Tepavitsa" - An Ingenious mechanism bringing the waters from the river into a pond to wash the monastery carpets. They become all clean ,just from the washing power of the running water. Sometimes soap is rubbed on them to acheive a greater effect.Located at Drushlyavitza river outside of the monastery by a local tavern ,when you look up left from...

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Rilski Manastir Warnings and Dangers

  • Help help !! Japanese tourists invasion...

    Well as I arrived here with Christian and Stephan, the monastery was practiclly empty , compared to what I'm used to. I can exclude one or two monks and an old nun ,besides about another 15 visitors spread through the complex, ah a loudly shouting german grandpa and its nephew.Geez those germans don't have respect for anything!!!So I was delighted...

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  • No dangers if you behave!

    Since the monastary is guarded by God Himself, there are not many dangers to expect. But, maybe, when you behave disrespectly at the monasary grounds, you might got hit by lightening in the evning when God is providing the monastary with some exciting natural scenes.

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Rilski Manastir Tourist Traps

  • by ger4444 Updated Mar 21, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Some of the priests you may see at the monastary yard, walking by, going to the church or leaving for their cells, are actually supernummerary actors; since there are not enough priests and monks these actors are hired from the Bulgarian Film Company, to give the tourist the feeling that the monastary is a buzzy place. These actors do their work very well, and if you persist, they will admit that they are actors, so, in case you want to be on the photo with a real priest, you can ask the person if he is just an actor or a real priest; just in case you want to have an authentic picture

    the Nativity church

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Rilski Manastir What to Pack

  • by ger4444 Written Mar 20, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: there are no shops (except for food) so you have to take all the things you usually need for travelling to the monastary. As the surroundings are ideal for hiking, bring your hiking boots with you. There is a camping and there are hizhas (mountianhuts) so you wont have to bring camping gear

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Rilski Manastir Off The Beaten Path

  • Real home of the monk

    At the back of the monsatery, is possible shopping local product and eat or drink something. In addition, if you follow the road you´ll find the real home of the monk who went there. Rilski Manastir was build again after it was burned by the otomans. The tower was the only part which was build before the otomans burned the monastery.

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  • Great mountains for climbing or trekking

    Despite the main interesting thing here is Rilski Manastir, in his surroundings are very beautiful mountains where you can do very pleasant trekkings.Mountains are high; I remenber we were in august and the water at monastery´s font was extremely cold,

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  • Nature park "Rila Monastery"

    Nature park "Rila Monastery" Includes the surroundings of the monastery and was created in 2000 to preserve the unique nature of the region.

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Rilski Manastir Sports & Outdoors

  • by ger4444 Written Mar 20, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As for hiking, the Rila mountains are steep, but offer spectacular views, flora and fauna. Snow can rest until summer at certain altitudes so you better have good hiking/mountain boots. Mountain huts (hizhas) are basic and costs about 10 lv per person. Many of them serve meals, but it is a good thing to bring your own food, for I heard that a lot of hizhas only have soup. A sleeping bag is not necessarily, for the most hizha have sheets. The best hikes are into the area in the north of the Rila monastery, around the mt. Maliovitsa. You can visit there the famous ?seven lakes? and end up in the village of Maliovitsa. Lets say you take a hike to the seven lakes: from these lakes it?s a one hour hike to the Hizha Skakavitsa, where there is a waterfall. You can stay here for one night and explore the area. To reach this hizha from the Rila monastery, it is a six hours hike. The hizha is at 2000 meters above sea-level. It is also possible to visit the seven lakes from Hizha Pionerska, which can be reached from Sapareva Banya (accessible via a bus from Dupnitsa, so it is not really in the direct region of the monastery, but yet an interesting alternative to get to the seven lakes). From Sapareva Banya walk some 10 km up the road and from the hizha it?s a 2 hours hike to the lakes.

    Equipment: hiking boots

    the lakes

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Rilski Manastir Favorites

  • Tourist stuff

    The monastery grounds are open daily from 6 am till 10 pm. Admission is free. After 10 pm the gates of the monastery are closed, so if you stay inside the monastery, better be back then before 10 pm. (although guards will open the gate for you after 10 pm when you arrive a bit later, you cannot expect to get back there at 3 am!) You can take...

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  • History of the Rila monastary (2)

    Towards the mid-15th century the monastey was plundered, set on fire and destroyed. The monastic life declined. The turn of the 15th century witnessed the rebirth of the Rila establishment to a new spiritual and cultural life. The relics of John of Rila were transferred from the ruined royal city of Turnovo back to the Rila Monastery. When Bulgaria...

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  • History of the Rila monastary (1)

    The monk hermit John of Rila who lived in a stone cave not far from the monastery?s main complex founded the Rila Monastery in 927 AD. The originator of the Rila foundation, who lived during the reign of the Bulgarian Tsar Peter (927-968), was raised to sainthood by the grateful Christians in sign of homage to his life work. The disciples of John...

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Explore Deeper into Rilski Manastir
How to get there
Transportation
Water for the weary traveller
Things to Do
Frescoes
Things to Do
Rila Monastery - architectonical jewel
Things to Do
The museum.
Things to Do
Walking around
Things to Do
The Square Balcony
Things to Do
Ethnographic rooms
Things to Do
The "Rojdestvo Bogorodichno" Church
Things to Do
The Hreljo tower
Things to Do
The outdoor cupolas
Things to Do
Building of the Monastery Ring
Things to Do
The monastery under Ottoman Rule
Things to Do
Droushlyovitsa River
Things to Do
Rila Monastery Complex
Things to Do
The Samokov Gate
Things to Do
amazing murals
Things to Do
Rila Monastery in the middle ofthe mountain forest
Off The Beaten Path
on the way to Rila Monastery
Transportation
Rila Monastery courtyard
Things to Do
Rila Monastery Church
Things to Do
Rilska River
Off The Beaten Path
Frescoes fom hell
Things to Do
The Round Balcony
Things to Do
Monastery Corridors
Things to Do
the Monastery library
Things to Do
The Holy Relicts of St Ivan Rilski
Things to Do
The Dupnitsa Gate
Things to Do
Rila Monastery plan
Things to Do
Rila Monastery Church wall paintings
Things to Do
The Altar
Things to Do
The kitchen of the monastery
Things to Do
Ivan Rilski - the Guardian saint of Bulgaria
Things to Do
car or buses
Transportation
the monastery
Things to Do
I guess...
Local Customs
Visit a mass
Local Customs
St lukes hermitage
Off The Beaten Path
The Gates
Things to Do
Transportation (3)
Transportation
Map of Rilski Manastir

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