Bachkovo Monastery

The Bachkovo Monastery of the Dormition of God’s Mother is founded in 11 c. It is a major Orthodox monastery in Southern Bulgaria. It is located on the right bank of the Chepelare River, 189 km from Sofia and 10 km south of Asenovgrad. The monastery was founded in 1083 by Prince Gregory Pakourianos, a prominent statesman and military commander in the Byzantine service. He set up a school for young monks at the monastery. Bachkovo Monastery was patronized by Tsar Ioan Alexander and the Byzantine Emperors. It is believed that the founder of Tarnovo Literary School and last patriarch of the mediaeval Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Euthymius, was exiled by the Turks and worked in the school of the monastery in the early 15th century. Although the monastery survived the first waves of Turkish invasion in Bulgarian lands, it was then looted and destroyed, but restored near the end of the 15th century. The refectory, whose mural paintings by an anonymous painter bear a significant artistic value, was reconstructed in 1601 and the Church of Mary, still preserved today, was finished in 1604. Bachkovo Monastery is the final resting place of both Patriarch Euthymius (1330–1404) and Patriarch Cyril (1953–1971). Several miraculous icons and numerous relics of several saints are kept in the monastery. The monastery also has a rich modern library with theological literature. The manuscripts and old printed books of the monastery were handed over at the beginning of the 20th century to state institutions - the public library in Plovdiv and the Church Historical and Archive Institute in Sofia. Prof. Dr. Sv. Ribolov held a meeting with the abbot, Bishop Sionii, and with the monks, introducing him to the activities of the NARRATE project.

Jun 2023