Monasteries

Glozhene Monastery

IMG_2617IMG_2644IMG_2669IMG_2677IMG_2684IMG_2687IMG_2690IMG_2699IMG_2700IMG_2715IMG_2719IMG_2732IMG_2740IMG_2745IMG_2762IMG_2768IMG_2770IMG_2774

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Glozhene Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery located on the northern slopes of Stara Planina in Bulgaria, near the village of Glozhene and the Cherni Vit river, 12 km from Teteven.

According to the legend, the monastery was built in the 13th century (1224), when Ukrainian knyaz Georgi Glozh settled in the area with Ivan Asen II’s approval. The knyaz founded a monastery carrying the name of St George, whose icon he had brought with himself. The icon then disappeared numerous times only to be found on a hill not far from the village of Glozhene, which was interpreted by the monks as a divine sign to move the monastery there. This was eventually done near the end of the 14th century. The two monasteries existed in parallel for a short time, being connected by a tunnel to each other, but the tunnel, used many times by Vasil Levski during his secret missions, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1928.

The monastery church was erected after the creation of the monastery in the 14th century, but was destroyed by another earthquake in 1913 along with its frescoes. The modern church was constructed in 1951 on the grounds of the old one.

Troyan Monastery

The Monastery of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God or, as it is more commonly called, the Troyan Monastery is the third largest monastery in Bulgaria. It is located in the northern part of the country in the Balkan mountains and was founded no later than the end of the 16th century.

The monastery is situated on the banks of the Cherni Osam near Oreshak, a village 10 km from Troyan in Lovech Province, and is a popular tourist destination.

The main church of the monastery was reconstructed near the end of Ottoman rule during the Bulgarian National Revival period by a master-builder called Konstantin in 1835. The ornate interior and exterior of the church were painted between 1847 and 1849 by Zahari Zograph, a popular Bulgarian painter of the time, who also painted the central church of the Rila Monastery, the largest monastery in Bulgaria. Many of the “moral and social experiments” of art at the time such as Doomsday and Wheel of Life were reproduced at Troyan. One highly controversial move by Zograph was to paint his image around one of the windows in the back of the church.

The iconostasis in the central church is a wood carving dating to 1839.

The Troyan Monastery is also, since the 17th century, the home of one of the holiest icons in Bulgarian Orthodoxy, the Three-Handed Virgin.

Many people make a pilgrimage to this monastery on St. George’s Day because of an icon of St. George in the main church. The room, in which Bulgarian revolutionary Vassil Levski was hiding and meeting with other revolutionaries during the Ottoman period is a museum.