The Enigmatic Splendor of Bachkovo Monastery, Bulgaria

The Enigmatic Splendor of Bachkovo Monastery, Bulgaria
Share this:

The Monastery of the "Assumption of the Virgin" in Bachkovo, nestled in the southern reaches of Bachkovo village, a mere 10 kilometers to the southern expanse of Asenovgrad, emerges as a resplendent testament to history's tapestry. A tale woven in 1083 by the hand of the Georgian luminary, Gregoriy Bakuriani, who bestowed this dominion. An era long passed witnessed the Georgian heritage held within the monastery's embrace. It's a saga echoing across epochs.

An edifice of contemplation, the two-tiered ossuary stands at a distance of approximately 400 meters, an architectural embodiment of the monastery's nascency, an echo of its earliest dawn.

As the 12th century waned and the 13th unfurled its wings, The Holy Archangels Church arose, a sanctuary to gather amidst winter's grasp. It nestled in embrace with the terrace adorning the second story of the western wing, where the monks, secluded within their chambers, partook of service. An age shrouded in the fall of Bulgaria to Ottoman dominion, the terminus of the 14th century witnessed Evtimiy, the final patriarch of Bulgaria's then-hours, exiled to the sanctuary of Bachkovo.

The canvas of time unfurled further, painting the end of the 16th century as the genesis of the monastery's new chapter. In this genesis, the eastern wing and the bastion of the grand entrance likely found form. The southern wing found rebirth in 1601, wherein the refectory now rests, adorned with a capacious dining arena and a marble slab, upon which the date of its forging finds its carved etching.

The brush of time marked 1864 with the embellishment of the northern dining hall wall, a mural of "The Presentation of the Miraculous Icon." The cathedral, its edifice graced in 1604, christened as The Assumption of the Virgin Cathedral, a tri-nave haven, an apse enshrined, a narthex's expanse, and a dome crowning its zenith.

1833 ushered in the expansion of the vegetable expanse, gardens anew taking root. 1834-1837, an epoch marked for the birth of a third sanctuary, christened for Saint Nikola. The masterful strokes of the famed Bulgarian iconographer, Zahariy Zograf (1810-1853), imbued life into the church's inner realm during 1838-1840, while 1841 saw his artistry adorn the exterior of The Holy Archangels Church in fresco.

Within the cathedral, an icon from 1311, titled The Holy Mother of God Icon, emerges beneath the mantle of a repoussé silver shroud. This relic is imbued with tales of miracles and wonders.

Wanderers in the cloister may likewise feast their eyes upon other icons, the silver shrouds enfolding Gospel replicas, and other artworks tracing their lineage from the 16th unto the 19th century. A tapestry from the 17th century encompasses a chiseled wooden icon stand, gilded embellishments cascading in gold, alongside the grandeur of the cathedral's regal gates. The Bulgarian Exarch Stefan I (1878-1957) slumbers within the monastery's bosom, as does the Bulgarian Patriarch Kiril (1901-1971), their legacy enshrined. The hallowed halls house a museum, the cradle of history's artifacts.

A coveted haven for the devout and the curious, the monastery's courtyard unfurls, its arboreal sentinels casting shadow. Amongst them, the Paradise apple tree and the Chinese fir, ancient witnesses to countless pilgrims' tread. The monastery persists as a beacon of sanctity, its monks extending the grace of shelter to those seeking solace. The church's yearly jubilee culminates on the 15th day of August.

Venturers are offered the chance to procure knowledge-rich literature, tomes of enlightenment, keepsakes, and icons, all ensconced within the monastery's precincts. The trail unfurling towards the haven meanders through boutiques and stalls, offerings abundant: ceramics, wood sculptures, tokens of remembrance, each whispering stories to those who'd listen.

Tassili Desert Adventure, Algeria 1260 , 8 Days

Tassili Desert Adventure, Algeria

Travel deep into the Sahara desert and explore its raw beauty. Erosion has sculpted a...
Balkan Kaleidoscope - 8 Balkan Countries in 14 Days 1190 , 14 Days

Balkan Kaleidoscope - 8 Balkan Countries in 14 Days

Once upon a time people said that the Balkans were the “power-keg of Europe”. Indeed,...
The Lure of Central America 1680 , 13 Days

The Lure of Central America

Embark on an incredible adventure through Central America, where the vibrant cultures of El...

View all» What people say about us

Penguin Travel on Trust Pilot
Based on 86 reviews
Trust Pilot
Binky's Review Verified review Verified
Great caucus Explorer trip
Caucus Explorer( Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan ) was a great trip . Even though our Van is fully...
Beth, 5 May
Daniel's review Verified review Verified
8 day Caucasus trip
5/5 for the Caucasus trip in apr/may 2024. Everything was well planned and executed.
Haris, 3 May
Maribeth's review Verified review Verified
Excellent and Amazing Tour
Excellent tour. My highlight of the tour is Sarajevo, Mostar, Ohrid and more places. I like the itinerary...
Arnold, 6 April
View all»


19.05.2024 10:40

Echoes of the Caucasus: The Vibrant World of Georgian Folklore Dance

Georgia, located between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, is known for its rich culture and tradition. One of the most captivating expressions of its heritage is Georgian folklore dance. This vibrant and dynamic art form has mesmerized audiences for centuries. From the spirited leaps of warriors to the graceful movements of women, Georgian dance encapsulates the nation's soul,...

26.04.2024 10:00

Explore Europe on Two Wheels: The Best Cycling Trips of Summer 2024

 As the warm summer sun beckons, it's time to dust off your bike and embark on an unforgettable journey through Europe's most stunning landscapes. From charming countryside trails to exhilarating mountain routes, there's no shortage of cycling adventures waiting to be discovered. In this article, we've compiled our best recommendations for European cycling routes, which you can do this...

23.04.2024 17:05

Senegal and the Gambia: a Photo Diary

Senegal and the Gambia beckon travellers with their rich cultural diversity, historical landmarks, and stunning natural beauty. From exploring vibrant cities like Dakar to delving into the country's colonial past on Goree Island, there's no shortage of captivating experiences. Wildlife enthusiasts can marvel at the biodiversity in national parks, while food lovers can indulge in flavorful local...

01.04.2024 17:07

The Horn of Africa: East Africa's Uncharted Wonders

Tucked away in Africa's easternmost enclave, the Horn - a mosaic of nations like Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia - beckons the adventurous soul with its array of undiscovered jewels. This narrative meanders through the mystical terrains, historical wonders, and vibrant tapestries of culture, earmarking this area as an essential destination for those yearning to tread paths less...