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Bachkovo Monastery

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Bachkovo Monastery
Bachkovo Monastery
Bachkovo Monastery


Bachkovo monastery is the second largest monastery in Bulgaria, picturesquely etched amidst the hills of the Rhodopes. It was founded back in the 11th century by the Georgian Bakuriani brothers. What has reached us from those times is a medieval ossuary decorated with masterly murals.
The entire monastery complex dates from the 15th-16th century. One’s breath stops before the two large courtyards, the two churches – the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas – decorated by the hand of the famous Zahari Zograph, the kitchen, the refectory (dining room) and the monks’ cells. Many works of art are kept at Bachkovo – murals, woodcarvings and icons. Pilgrims from near and far come here to bow before the miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin. Legend has it that a shepherd boy found it in a cave above the monastery. Every time they took the icon to the church it would disappear, only to be found again in the mountain. Only when the monks placed it in the church did the icon remain. That is why to this day every year large processions follow the icon from the church to the cave.
The monastery also has a spiritual relationship with nearby Asenovgrad. For centuries Christians have reached the holy place along a sacred route from the town, through the Assen fortress and its church to Bachkovo monastery.
The entire landscape, everything around bears the powerful spirit of faith, of the sacred. This feeling is also enhanced by the numerous chapels, twinkling white in the cultural landscape around Bachkovo monastery.


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