Rila Monastery

The monastery is a complex of cultural, dwelling and farming buildings covering an area of 8800 square metres Its unique architecture with its high stone walls, forming a pentagon around the outside, looks more like a fortress than a monastery.

The Rila Monastery also known as the Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria, founded in the 10th century it is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and is a major tourist attraction for tourists.

Rila Monastery is located in Rila Monastery National Park, which is about 90 km from Razlog . You can reach the monastery on the major road E-79 and after that on a narrow asphalt road leading directly to the monastery.

Please mindful of the strict rules when visiting the monastery:

no improper attire for example short skirts, shorts, vests and all other kinds of revealing outfits.

no smoking in the monastery complex.

no photographs and videos in the temple and in the monastery museum.

no entry to the upper floors of the residential buildings.

no pets.

When in the temple:

observe silence by all means.

men remove hats.

no perambulators, tourist backpacks and other kinds of bulky baggage.

when praying in front of the icons or in front of the chest with the relics of Saint John, do not touch them. The Holy Icons, as well as the relics, are honored only with kissing.

the lit candles are not held in hands, but they are placed in the appropriate places: the low candelabra for peace and the high candelabra for health.

it is not acceptable to sit in the temple with crossed legs, to keep hands in your pockets or the use of mobile devices.


Rila Monastery, Kyustendil district, Bulgaria 2643

Tel: +359 7054 3383


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