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What to visit in Varna and Bulgaria

Visit the Troyan Monastery to get a unique feel of the history and culture of Bulgaria

If you are planning to rent a car in Varna and drive around the country to visit some of the most beautiful and historically significant places in Bulgaria, you should definitely add the Troyan Monastery to your list of sites to see.

Located at about 260 km from Varna, near the Oreshaka area on the banks of the Cherni Osam River, this monastery is one of the most significant ones in the history of the country.

It was founded in the 1600's by a monk-hermit, and was later upgraded and enlarged, with the addition of a large wooden church, a residential wing for the monks, and a small guest house in 1812.

Unfortunately, during the centuries the Troyan monastery has been the victim of many robberies and pillages by the Ottoman invaders, but thanks to the faithful and strong-willed monks as well as with the help of the surrounding inhabitants, the monastery has managed to resist and survive the attacks and has been restored in time.

Since the beginning of its existence, the Troyan Monastery has become a center of spiritual literacy and enlightenment. Many handwritten books have been written and rewritten in the monastery, and there was a monastery school where a large number of the most famous members of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church clergy have received their education.

With the help of the local population, in 1835 the monastery was further enlarged and better grounded with the construction of a new church made of solid stone. In 1865, a local master built the four-story bell-tower attached to the west wing of the monastery.

The monastery has been a safe shelter for many national protectors during the Ottoman invasion, including the Bulgarian Apostle of Freedom Vasil Levski. His refuge there today is turned into a museum which you can see during your visit to the monastery.

Троянски манастир

The church is the central and most significant historical and cultural monument in the monastery complex. The frescoes are painted by one of the most famous Bulgarian Revival artists - Zachary Zograph. They contain customary religious themes combined with renaissance and patriotic elements and images, such as those of the Sts. Cyril and Methodius, St. Nicholas of Sofia, St. Michael Bolgarin, the Russian princes Boris and Gleb and others.

One of the most famous monks of the Troyan monastery was Patriarch Maxim, who is buried in the monastery church.

As a place full of centuries of Bulgarian, Orthodox history and as an outstanding cultural and historical monument, the Troyan Monastery is definitely a destination that you should not miss on your next visit to Bulgaria when you rent a car in Varna.

Visit this holy place and enjoy the incredible nature of the Troyan Balkan surrounding what is the third largest monastery in Bulgaria and one with a huge cultural and historical significance for the country!