TheÂ Glozhene MonasteryÂ is anÂ Eastern OrthodoxÂ monastery located on the northern slopes ofÂ Stara PlaninaÂ inÂ Bulgaria, near the village ofÂ GlozheneÂ and theÂ Cherni VitÂ river, 12Â km fromÂ Teteven.
According to the legend, the monastery was built in the 13th century (1224), whenÂ UkrainianÂ knyazÂ Georgi GlozhÂ settled in the area withÂ Ivan Asen II’s approval. The knyaz founded a monastery carrying the name ofÂ 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 byÂ Vasil LevskiÂ during his secret missions, was destroyed by anÂ earthquakeÂ 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.
TheÂ Monastery of theÂ DormitionÂ of the Most HolyÂ Mother of GodÂ or, as it is more commonly called, theÂ Troyan MonasteryÂ is the third largest monastery inÂ Bulgaria. It is located in the northern part of the country in theÂ Balkan mountainsÂ and was founded no later than the end of the 16th century.
The monastery is situated on the banks of theÂ Cherni OsamÂ nearÂ Oreshak, a village 10Â km fromÂ TroyanÂ inÂ Lovech Province, and is a popular tourist destination.
The main church of the monastery was reconstructed near the end ofÂ Ottoman ruleÂ during theÂ Bulgarian National RevivalÂ period by a master-builder called Konstantin in 1835. The ornate interior and exterior of the church were painted between 1847 and 1849 byÂ Zahari Zograph, a popular Bulgarian painter of the time, who also painted the central church of theÂ Rila Monastery, the largest monastery in Bulgaria. Many of the “moral andÂ social experiments” of art at the time such asÂ DoomsdayÂ andÂ Wheel of LifeÂ 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.
TheÂ iconostasisÂ 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 inÂ Bulgarian Orthodoxy, theÂ 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.