The Rila Monastery – my favorite place, is located near my home town Rila. I grew up here, I was baptize here and I visit this holy place every time I need more emotional power and every time I realize the magic of this place.
The Rila Monastery is located amidst herbs and sweet with resin fragrance woods deep in the valley of the Rilska River in the Rila Mountain. It is an amalgamation of religious, residential and farm buildings. It is distinguished by its unique architecture. The twenty-four-meter long stone walls of the foundation of the buildings form an irregular quadrangle rendering the monastery the appearance of a fortress from the outside. Therefore, upon entering through one of the two iron gates tourists are taken by surprise by the soft architectural forms: arcs and colonnades, covered wooden stairs and carved balconies in front of the premises – around 300 in number. In the cobblestone courtyard there coexist the stern holes of the Tower of Hrelyu built by Sebastocrator Hrelyu in 1335 and the silver domes of the Main Church built in 1834-1838.
Founder of the Rila Monasrety is the first Bulgarian hermit monk Saint Ioan Rilski (876-946) who chose to live in the Rila wilderness as a way of coming close to God.
The Rila Monastery is at the top place in the World heritage list of cultural and natural sites to the UNESCO.