Pilgrimage/Religious tourism

The Zelenikovets monastery "St. John the Baptist"

The Zelenikovets monastery “St. John the Baptist” is an active monastery of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and a summer residence of the Bulgarian patriarch. It is situated in the picturesque area "Zelenikovets" of the Troyan part of the Balkan Mountain, about 8km to the southeast of the Troyan monastery and about 5km to the south of  Cherni Osam village.

It is a complex of church and several residential and commercial buildings. The oldest of them dates back to 1872. The monastery reveals a marvelous view to the Golyam Kupen and Ambaritsa peaks.

The monastery was established in 1832 by the then- abbot of the Troyan monastery Partenii. Shortly afterwards, it was burned down and during the April Uprising it was destroyed by Turkish troops in pursuit of the detachment of Philip Totyu. In 1913 the monastery was rebuilt and in 1914 the new church was consecrated. It is interesting to see the preserved richly carved iconostasis, made by the master Philip Makedonetsa, representative of the woodcarving school.

The monastery is not water-supplied and electrified. The visitors can accomodate in unpretentious conditions, which are compensated by the incredible beauty and tranquility of the place.

The Zelenikovets Monastery is not accessible by road. It can be reached in two ways – with car from Cherni Osam to Hydroelectric power station (HPS) - Cherni Osam (about 3-4 km after the end of the village). Another option is to get off at the last bus stop Troyan – Cherni Osam and to continue walking on an asphalt road to the same place.

From the HPS starts a very well-marked path to the monastery, which takes about two and a half  hours.

The monastery is the starting point for Pleven chalet, Botev peak, Ambaritsa and Yavorova laka chalets.

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