Welcome to Rila Monastery
Rising out of a forested valley in the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria’s most famous monastery has been a spiritual centre for over 1000 years. Rila Monastery’s fortress-like complex engulfs 8800 sq m, and within its stone walls you’ll find remarkably colourful architecture and religious art. Visitors can’t fail to be struck by its elegant colonnades, archways striped in black, red and white, and the bright yellow domes of its main church, beneath which dance apocalyptic frescoes. All of this splendour, against a backdrop of mist-swirled mountains, has made Rila Monastery hugely popular among both pilgrims and curious visitors.
Most travellers visit Rila Monastery on a day trip, but you can stay at or near the monastery to experience its tranquillity after the tour buses leave, or explore the hiking trails that begin here.