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The Virgin Mary Church

The church was built in 1604. We can say that it is the only one monumental building from the XVII-th century in Bulgaria. It is cross-domed church, with a polyhedral drum cupola with 12 windows on it. This church is a unique Bulgarian monument with its grandeur and with its architectural decision, quite unusual for the early XVII-th century.

A special place in that church is designated for the icon of "Saint Virgin Mary" from the year 1311. It was a present by two travelers from Georgia. This is the sacred icon of the monastery. People say it is miraculous. To survive till nowadays the icon had been hidden in unapproachable rocks and caves in the monastery surroundings.

The oldest religious ceremony in the monastery is to take out the miraculous icon from the church and to bring it to the Kluviata spring. The ceremony is held every year on the second day after Easter.

The big monastery church becomes a pantheon of the Bulgarian first-hierarchs. There are white stone sarcophagus of exarch Stefan the First and the Bulgarian patriarch Cyril in the central part of the church, on the both sides of the narthex.

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