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Rozhen Monastery, Melnik

Rozhen Monastery “Holy Birth of the Holy Mother” is one of the biggest and most preserved medieval monasteries in Bulgaria. It is located at the foot of the Pirin Mountain, near the famous pyramids of Melnik, at around 7 km away from the town of Melnik and at about 1 km away from the village of Rozhen /the road leading to it is asphalted, one can get there by car/. The village itself gets its name from the monastery - Rozhen comes from “nativity”.

The earliest evidences for the beginning of the cloister go back to the beginning of 13th century. Ornaments and coins from the time of the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Paleologist, found in the yard of the monastery, are also evidences for that.

The murals in the holy cloister date back to the end of 16th and 17th centuries. The present look of the monastery is from the 19th century. Counted towards the monastery complex are the church with the chapel, the ossuary chapel, the agricultural and residential buildings, where the monastic cells and the guest rooms can be found, and others. The yard with the vineyards, the stone fountain and whole renaissance atmosphere overall, are a delightful view for the visitors.

The monastery church “Holy Birth of the Holy Mother” overwhelms with its murals, carved iconostasis, stained glass and icons. It is considered that the first church of the cloister was built in the beginning of 16th century. In its present appearance, the temple is a three-nave temple. The miraculous icon “The Virgin Mary Portaitissa”, a copy of the well-know icon “The Virgin Mary Portaitissa”, which guarded the gates of the Holy Mountain monastery of Athon - Iviron /where the name Portaitissa comes from/, is also here. The memorial of the miraculous icon is on the third day of Easter.

The holiday of the monastery is on the 8th of September - the birthday of the Virgin Mary, when worshipers of the entire country come here, so they can take part in the feasts, stay overnight, and pray for health and blessings.

Rozhen Monastery is a working male monastery. It is among the 100 national tourist sites, with exceptional architectural and cultural value, and a monument of culture. Throughout the whole year, it is visited by thousands of Bulgarian and foreign worshipers and tourists. Near the holy cloister is also located the grave of one of the biggest Bulgarian heroes - Yane Sandanski.

Useful information

Rozhen Monastery
Village of Rozhen, Municipality of Sandanski, Dstrict of Blagoevgrad
Tel.: +359 7437 22 22

Working hours:
9.00 – 17.00, no days off

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