The Rila Monastery

I’m afraid that by no means do I have the knowledge or skills to briefly introduce the cultural value of the Rila Monastery. I don’t want to repeat all the clichés we’ve all heard again and again. That’s why I’m just going to share a few photographs of elements that left me with a strong impression during my last visit and I’m going to allow myself to give a piece of advice to all of you who would like to see the place not as a tourist attraction but as a monastery and a cultural centre of long-gone times: go there on a weekday – early in the morning or at dusk when the place isn’t overcrowded. There used to be an option to spend the night in the monastery – check if it’s still there and, if possible, enjoy the peace in the monastery court while the night is falling.

The Rila Monastery is located 21km away from the town of Rila. It is situated in the valley of the Rilska River and is easily accessible by car. You could also reach it by public transport from the town of Blagoevgrad but, to be honest, that’s not the most comfortable option and it takes too much time.

If you love mountains and have two spare days, you could reach the monastery starting from Tse-Pe-She Malyovitsa (Malyovitsa Central Mountain School). There’s a shuttle bus to the place which leaves at 08:15 from Samokov; the bus station number is 0722 / 6-65-40. In the summer, the route from Malyovitsa Central Mountain School to the Rila Monastery can be covered in about 7 hours.