Pilgrimage/Religious tourism

The Troyan monastery "Assumption of Virgin Mary"

The Troyan monastery “Assumption of Virgin Mary” is not only the biggest monastery in Stara Planina, but also the third largest in Bulgaria ( after these in Bachkovo and Rila). In 1830 it is annonced for stauropigial, which means that is subordinated directly to the Patriarchate, not to the local bishop, and still retains its status.

The monastery complex is situated on the picturesque bank of the Cherni Osam River near the village of Oreshak, about 10 km. from the town of Troyan. There is a convenient bus transport to the monastery.

The monastery chronicle dates back its foundation to 1600. With the foundation of the monastery was built and a small wooden church "Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God". Around 1780, this church was rebuilt in stone, and later was re-expanded by  Abbot Paisius (1785-1817).

In 1835 a new temple was built in the monastery - the church "Assumption of the Holy Mother of God".

The Troyan Monastery developed  as center of the Bulgarian education and literature. Here, in 1765, the first monastery school was opened, and in 1869 it was transformed into a secular school where the children from the nearby villages were taught.

In 1871 Vassil Levski organized the first monastic revolutionary committee in the country.

The walls and vaults of the central part of the monastery church are painted by the outstanding Revival painter Zahari Zograf. With its architecture, wood-carvings and artistic decoration (icons, frescoes) the monastery influences on the development of the crafts in Troyan - pottery, woodcarving.

The Troyan monastery, apart from as a religious and educational center, is well-known with its well-developed agriculture, the livestock breeding and especially with the fruit growing (and especially the plum culture). The brotherhood of the monks produced plum brandy with fine quality. In 1894, they participated with it in the Anvers Exhibition (Belgium) and were awarded with a bronze medal and diploma.

At the outbreak of the April uprising the monastery was used as  a command base by voevodes Panayot Volov, Georgi Ikonomov and Thom Hitrov. The authentic monk room, where ared disscussed  the revolutionary actions is preserved. During the War for Liberation, abbot Macarius transformed the monastery complex into a field hospital for Russian soldiers. 

Another architectural monument in the Troyan monastery is the chapel tower erected in 1865 by the master Ivan from the village of Mlechevo. Decorative monumental paintings covered the walls outside. Here, the first Troyan painter Peco x. Naydenov painted interesting ornamental compositions and figures of archangels and saints in 1865.

It’s worth to see the chapel "Golgotha", which is located on the first floor of chapel tower. Recently it has been renovated and decorated with mosaic technique, which was very popular in the past centuries, but very rare nowadays.

Today, in the monastery church, is buried  the last Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim (1914-2012) – He expressed the desire to be laid down there – in the place where he spent his years as a novice.

In addition to the interesting architecture and the valuable frescoes, in the museum collection of the Troyan Monastery can also be seen many interesting and unusual objects of the applied arts and crafts (silver engraving of the gospel, magnificent potion made in 1773 by master Gencho,) valuable literary monuments and even mugs donated by Rayna Knyaginya. The room of Tsar Boris III , as well as a Troyan living room, which has preserved the atmosphere 140 years ago, can be visited in the monastery.

On August 15 - Assumption, when the temple feast holiday of the monastery, thousands of pilgrims from the country and abroad come to the village. At the same time a great craft fair with more than 150 years of history take place along the walls of the monastery.

The entrance in the monastery is free of charge and there is a possibility of accomodating there.

Contacts: +359 6952 24 80 and +359 899 635 253.

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