Stob's pyramids - Rila Monastery - cave of St. Ivan Rilski

Price: 60.00 EUR
Countries: Bulgaria
Route: Sofia - Stob's pyramids - Rila Monastery - cave of St. Ivan Rilski - Sofia
Duration: 9 h
Enjoy an organized trip with a visit to Rila Monastery with its unique artifacts, walk the path of the pilgrimage , cave of St. Ivan Rilski and the Stob's pyramids, where you can see the breathtaking creation of nature. Our fist place of visit is Stob Pyramids are rock formations with an average height of about 10 meters (some of them reaching 12 meters). They are located at 600-750 meters above sea level in the western part of the Rila Mountain - in the Kulski rid and Tsurkvichoto locality, above the village of Stob. The Stob's pyramids are weakly neogene-quaternary sandstones and conglomerates formed in the last 1-2 million years. Their colors varies between yellow and brown. The next stop will be the Rila Monastery. Rila Monastery is nestled in the highest mountain on the Balkan Peninsula – Rila at 1147 m. a. s. l. along Rilska River. It is the most famous landmark of Bulgaria, founded in 10-th century by the hermit St. Ivan Rilski – a wonder worker and patron saint of Bulgaria. This is the largest Bulgarian monastery, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 and most visited tourist site in Bulgaria.In Rila Monastery we first visit the main church Nativity of the Virgin (1835 – 1837) decorated with wonderful and very well preserved murals. In all the scenes depicted on the exterior and the interior of the church are more than 1200. In the church we see the holy relics of St. Ivan Rilski as well as the tomb of the last Bulgarian king – Boris III. Next to the main temple is the only left building from the 14-th century – the Hrelio’s tower which represents a strong fortification erected by the local feudal lord Hrelio in 1334 – 1335. The “Transfiguration” chapel on the top floor of the building houses precious mural paintings from the 14-th century. In the monastery museum we see some ancient weapons of the monastery guards, church objects, documents, ancient printing machine from Vienna, ornaments, ancient coins and many more. The most impressive exhibit here is the wooden cross carved by monk Rafail. He worked on it for 12 years (between 1790 and 1802) and finally became blind. This unique piece of art contains 36 scenes from the Bible and about 600 figures as small as a rice grain!. After exploring the Holy Rila Retreat optionally at a little extra cost we can go to the nearby cave of St. Ivan Rilski where he spent many years in hermitage, prayer and meditation. It takes around 25 min walking in a wonderful forest to reach this holy site where actually the monastery was originally founded. Next to the cave stands the Assumption of St. Ivan Rilski church which was built around the rock tomb of the saint. The “wish fountain” is nearby where visitors and pilgrims write wishes on a paper and put them between the stones. After we will back to Sofia.
Price: per person
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Countries: Bulgaria

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