Rila Mountains

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The Rila Mountains are the best place for hiking in Bulgaria. Most people start in the ski resort of Borovets and climb Musala Peak. The 2925 meter high peak is the highest mountain in the Balkans. Further along the way is the Rila Monastery.

The isolated location of the monastery helped to preserve Bulgarian culture during the times of Turkish rule between the 15th and 19th centuries. Ivan Rilski founded the Rila Monastery in 927 and it was moved 3 kilometers to its present location in 1335. Ivan Rilski used to live in a cave, a few kilometers from the monastery. He was buried there. In 1833 a fire destroyed the monastery and all that remains of the original building is the clock tower. After the fire it was rebuilt in the grand National Revival Style.

The church has 1200 frescoes and there are several museums that exhibit religious artifacts.

The monastery has bus connections with Sofia. Accommodation is available.


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