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“Ok for half day trip” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bachkovo Monastery

Bachkovo Monastery
10km south of Asenovgrad | on the main road between Assenovgrad and Smolyan, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
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Ranked #4 of 20 Attractions in Plovdiv
Type: Religious Sites, Cultural
Attraction details
hong kong
Top Contributor
165 reviews 165 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 116 cities Reviews in 116 cities
193 helpful votes 193 helpful votes
“Ok for half day trip”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

Compared to Rila, this place is a little disappointing. Easy to get there - caught a minibus for 4 BGL from the new bus station next to the train station. Get off after the gorge. You will go over a bridge and see some hotels, then about half a km further on you will see the entrance to the monastery. get off there. No pictures allowed in the monastery.

Near the entrance is a restaurant - stop for a beer or some food next to the waterfall!

Visited June 2012
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74 reviews from our community

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Guildford
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Peaceful place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

wonderful location, calming, interesting. Close to Asenovgrad. Plenty of parking and shops on the walk to and from the monastery have some nice Turkish baclava.

Visited March 2012
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Gotse Delchev, Bulgaria
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“nice visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

smaller than Rila but monastery to visitin beautiful surroundings . walk from down.

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Sofia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Few tips to help you really discover Bachkovo monastery”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2011

Bachkovo monastery is second in size and importance in Bulgaria. It's very easy to get there from Plovdiv, using the road to Pamporovo ski resort and Smolyan town. Since the visit to the monastery doesn't take up too much time, it can be easily combined with any of the other sights in the area like Asenova fortress or the Museum of Aviation at the airport of Plovdiv in the vicinity of Krumovo village. Or you could stop over for sightseeing and a meal on your way to the ski slopes in winter.

Yes, unfortunately, for a few years now it's been forbidden to take photos inside the monastery - this means the moment you enter the courtyard it's best to put your camera away. Or you might hear a high-pitched warning behind your back, in case the attendant in the courtyard thinks you are trying to slight the ban. Like it or not, monastery rules should best be kept. Monks do not like to be photographed, either, even if they are outside the monastery.

What to see at Bachkovo monastery?

- Main church "Holy Trinity" with its lovely iconostasis and the fourteenth century miraculous icon of Virgin Mary with the child (it is on a separate stand, as you enter the nave, on the right side). Frescoes are better preserved in the narthex, in the nave they are covered with a thick layer of soot as a result of candles burning inside.

- The Medieval dining hall of the monastery (the refectory) is 100% worth seeing, but most of the visitors miss it out, since it's not indicated with any sign. When walking into the courtyard of the monastery, keep the left side and look out for a big niche in the monastery building, with wooden columns and a big tortoise shell hanging overhead. In there, right hand-side, you'll spot a low wooden door. This is the entrance to the refectory, but since there is a fee of 6 lv. for the visit, an attendant has to open it especially for you. If you don't see anyone sitting nearby, just make it clear that you want to enter. Ask some Bulgarian visitor to help you out, if you have to. When you see the 17th century frescoes in the dining hall, you'll realize it was worth the effort!

- In the same area where the entrance to the refectory is, there is another wooden door, up to which there lead several stone steps. That's a door to a Secret Garden (almost like in the book) - the second courtyard of the monastery. The fine 19-th century church of St. Nicholas stands in the middle. Even though it's not open for visitors, you can see the beautiful frescoes in the open gallery on the western wall of the church. The Last Judgement Day depicted there is spectacular.

- When you're back in the main monastery courtyard, don't forget to check out the fresco depicting the monastery complex (as it was in the 19th century) on the north wall of the monastery building, just behind a big tree.

- Outside the monastery, opposite the main entrance, behind a wrought iron gate there starts a hiking trail into the nearby mountain hills. Even if you are not a keen hiker, the 5-minute walk to the 11th century building of the monastery ossuary is pleasant. If you keep walking, in approximately 45 to 60 minutes you will reach the Kluviyata area, where there is a healing water spring. Every year during the Easter week a procession with the miraculous icon of the Virgin is organized up to here.

Not to be missed is the opportunity to buy tasty forest fruit jam, pure honey or mountain herbs for tea from the market in the street leading up from the main road to the monastery.

Visited December 2011
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“nice...historical but simple..”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2011

it is a nice place in the hills...historical but simple....the restaurants before the monastery were good...

Visited June 2011
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