Riva Monastery (Bulgarian)

Riva Monastery (Bulgarian)

Rilal St. Ivan Monastery or Rila Monastery (Bulgarian: Рилски манастир, Rilski monastery) is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is located in the Rila Monastery Natural Park at an altitude of 1,147 meters above sea level, in the valley of the Rilska River, 117 kilometers south of the capital Sofia, south-west of the Rila Mountains. The monastery, which is named after the founder of the monastery, Rilal Ivan (M.S. 876 – 946), is home to about 60 monks.

Founded in the 10th century, the Rila Monastery is considered one of the most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments of Bulgaria and is an important tourist attraction for both Bulgaria and Southern Europe. In 2008 alone, he attracted 900,000 visitors. [1]

It was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1983.