RILA MONASTERY

Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, also known as the Rila Monastery, is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is situated in the southwestern Rila Mountains in the georgeous valley of the Rilska River, 117 km away from Sofia. The monastery is named after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila (876 - 946 AD).

The The monastery complex, regarded as one of the masterpieces of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, was declared a national historical monument in 1976 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.