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The Kokalyane monastery

The Kokalyane monastery dates back to the Second Bulgarian State
The Kokalyane monastery dates back to the Second Bulgarian State

The Kokalyane cloister, St Archangel Michael, is also known as the Urvich monastery. It is situated amid a beautiful scenery of the Plana mountain, about 4 km away from the village of Kokalyane (in the outskirts of the city of Sofia) and some 6 km to the northeast of the village of Zheleznitsa.

Originally, the Kokalyane monastery dates back to the Second Bulgarian State. According to legends and historical documents, it was built at the beginning of the 11th century, during the rule of Tsar Samuil. During the Ottoman rule, the cloister was set on fire twice. It was completely restored only after the Liberation with a new church (1896) taking the place of the previous one ruined in 1858. The church stands in the middle of the inner yard, and represents a relatively large one-nave building without a dome. Besides it, the complex also includes two residential buildings, two chapels, farmyards and a beautiful bell-tower, constructed in 2000. The entire complex is surrounded by a thick, two-meter high wall. A famous relic, the so-called Urvich Collection, consisting of laudatory words for Archangels Michael and Gavriil (including the one written by the famous man of letters, Kliment of Ohrid) was found in the Kokalyane monastery. In 1969, the monastery was declared a monument of culture.

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