On my last trip I went sightseeing in Bulgaria. I traveled with friends from high school and from my university. We visited several very popular and interesting places. My friends helped me write this post.
I’ll start with Rila Monastery. It’s situated around 40 kilometers from my college city, Blagoevgrad, and 117 km from the capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia. Rila Monastery is in the southwestern part of Rila Mountains. The monastery is named after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila (876 – 946 AD). It was founded in the 10th century and is regarded as one of Bulgaria’s most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments. It is also a key tourist attraction for Bulgaria and Southern Europe. In 2008 the monastery attracted almost 1 million visitors. Rila Monastery was depicted on bulgarian 1 lev banknote issued in 1999, when it was in circulation. The Monastery is a big building in old architectural style. It is with a form similar to a square. Inside there is a museum, a church and other monuments. It is considered very sacred. Although it’s more of a tourist attraction now and is used just for earning money, one can feel the different energy in the monastery. The first time I was in the church I wanted to take a photo of it from the inside. It was forbidden, but still I did it. The next day my camera wasn’t working and I had to take it for repairing.
The monastery looks majestic.
The buildings are painted with black and white from the outside. There are many manuscripts all over the walls, as well as religious icons. The view form the monastery is unique. You can see the big and beautiful mountains around. Behind the monastery there is a river, Rilska river. When you go near the river you feel like this is the most amazing place in the world. And for the tourists there are little shops and bakeries where you can buy souvenirs or grab something to eat. The last time I was there with my friends, we wanted to grap something for breakfast. There are these awesome “Mekitsi” there. Tom, a friend of mine went to buy Mekitsi for all of us. He ordered 50, and the woman that was selling them was completely shocked.
We continued our trip to Sandanski, where we spent the night. The city is named after Yane Sandanski. It is located at the foot of Pirin Mountain. There are also many mineral water springs in Sandanski. Sandanski has the warmest climate in Bulgaria. The city center is very beautiful during the night, because of the fountains in front of the municipality. The fountains have lights inside and change their pattern every few minutes.
It just looks beautiful.
The next morning we left for Rupite. This is a village surrounded by the mountains. It is best known from people as the home of the famous Bulgarian psychic Baba Vanga. She is famous with the many predictions she made. All of which came true. She lived in Rupee most of her live and died there. Her wish was to be buried there. Her grave is 20 meters away from her house, which is now a museum open for tourists. There is also a church right next to Baba Vanga’s grave. The place for the church was chosen by her, before her death. Another curious thing for Rupite is that it is situated over the crater of an extinct volcano. That is the reason for the hot mineral water springs there.
On the way back home, we stopped in Rozhen Monastery and Melnik. Rozhen Monastery is situated high in the mountain. It is the biggest monastery in Pirin Mountains. It was destroyed and put on fire many times, but always reconstructed. The grave of Yane Sandanski is situated very close to the monastery.
Melnik is the smallest city in Bulgaria. It’s population is around 400 people. Many of the buildings there are in old architectural style. In fact 96 are cultural monuments. The town is well knows for the impressive natural sand pyramids.
The pyramids have different forms like mushrooms. It’s something unique!
It is also famous for the wine cellars there. The most famous one is Kordopulova House. The top floors of the house are turned into a historical museum with very interesting artifacts. The wine cellar there is dug into the rock to form a tunnel. Melnik is a very nice place for tourists.
This is a friend of mine, Rali, tasting wine.
Those places are situated in a little part in southwestern Bulgaria. I’m looking forward to tell you about more sights in my home country Bulgaria.
You can hear some impressions from Kaloyan, Tom, Dani and Katya here: