Cascoly Travel -- Europe: Bulgaria - Rila Monastery
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Cascoly Travel
Europe: Bulgaria - Rila Monastery

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    The 10th century Rila Monastery is 121 km (75 miles) south of Sofia at the end of a winding road. Mountains rise all around it; below it the Rilska River races over a stony bed.In the 9th century, twenty-year old Ivan Rilski (John of Rila) fled to this peaceful place seeking escape from the sinfulness of the world. Finding a cave in the woods above this present monastery site, he took up the hermit life. Here he fed the animals and the birds and prayed in the stillness to God. In time, like-minded men joined him and they built the first monastery In the past, pilgrims were not deemed sinless enough to enter the monastery.

    Today Rila Monastery is one of Europe's largest monasteries, located in some of Bulgaria's most beautiful terrain. Sightseeing of the monastery features the unsurpassed frescoes of the Church of the Blessed Virgin. Monks still practice within this five-domed church.

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