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Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery (Rilski Manastir) was founded in the 10th century by St John of Rila, a hermit canonized by the Orthodox Church. His ascetic dwelling and tomb became a holy site and were transformed into a monastic complex, which subsequently played an important role in the spiritual and social life of medieval Bulgaria. Destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 19th century, the complex was rebuilt between 1834 and 1862. The monument is a characteristic example of the Bulgarian Renaissance (18th–19th centuries) and symbolizes an awareness of a Slavic cultural identity following centuries of occupation.



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