Troyan Monastery

Troyan Monastery “Mother of God” is the third largest monastery in Bulgaria situated on the banks of river Cherni Osam, near Oreshak and 10 kilometers away from the town of Troyan. There are many unknowns about the monastery creation, but according to a legend, a monk from Mount Athos came here in 1600 and built up a small wooden church. Later on the monastery was burned down several times, but during the Renaissance the construction of a new church began. The Monastery was a center of Bulgarian education and literature. Here in 1765 opened the first monastic school and in 1869 it grew into a secular school, in which pupils from near villages studied. In 1871 Vasil Levski founded the first and the only one monastic Revolutionary Committee in the country.

Mural paintings of the monastery church are creation of the famous Renaissance artist Zachary Zograf. With its architecture, carvings and decorative arts (icons and wall-paintings) the monastery influenced the development of crafts in Troyan – pottery, woodcarving.

The creation of the current impressive look of the monastery lasted until the end of the XIX century, during which four-storey bell tower construction was built and a chapel dedicated to the educators Cyril and Methodius.

Besides being an educational, religious and revolt center, Troyan Monastery is also known for its developed agriculture, stock-breeding and more specially fruit-growing and growing of plum culture. Brothers monks produced brandy with enviable quality. In 1894 they participated in Anver exhibition (Belgium) with brandy own production and have been awarded a bronze medal and a diploma. Besides the ordinary slivovitsa, the monks produced and other kind of brandy called “burenovka”, which is made from 40 types of herbs (simples) picked in the mountains near Scythian “St. Ivan”. This brandy is a monastery specialty. Besides the qualities of the ordinary monastery plum brandy – delicious taste, smell of ripe plums, it has the aroma of the herbs that are put in it.

The most significant culture monument in the Troyan monastery is the church “Mother of God”. The church keeps the most famous miraculous icon Holy Mother of God Troeruchitsa. The believers see it as a great mercy of God donated to the Bulgarian people in the worst days of slavery. The origin of the name of the icon Holy Mother of God Troeruchitsa relates to the miracle that happened to Joan Damaskin in VIII century. Slandered, he was punished as his right hand was cut out. After long prayers to Mother of God his hand again became healthy. In the memory of this event some icons especially in the Orthodox iconography a third hand is added to different images, and this how the name origin.

Traditionally the church holiday of the Troyan monastery Mother of God is on 15th of August, a day which is more popular as Great Mother of God. With special procession the miraculous icon is exported outside and thousand of people from all over the country accompany it to the place where according to the legend the Athonite monk ever stopped with his holy load – the icon of the Mother of God. Believes say that touching the icon brings health, prosperity and luck throughout the year.

How to get to the Troyan Monastery?

From Troyan to the monastery a paved road leads. From Gabrovo and Sevlievo regions you can pass through a shortcut Apriltsi. The proximity of the Troyan pass – Beklemeto makes the monastery easy to access from the towns and villages from South Bulgaria.

How to get to town of Troyan?

There are buses every day going the route Sofia-Troyan from central bus station in Sofia in time range from 8:00 to 17:00 pm. If you decide to travel by car from the capital you should set off for road E79 and follow the signs to Troyan.

From the nearby towns and villages to Troyan, as Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, Lovech and Teteven you can use the services of the public transport such as trains and buses or travel by private transport. In case you are coming from South Bulgaria your way goes through Shipka pass or Troyan pass (Beklemeto), and if they are closed due to severe weather conditions or other reasons, you can make a detour through the capital.

  For more information regarding the timetables visit the web page of Bulgarian State Railways - or call the bus station in your town. If you travel by your own private transport just follow the sign and be sure you have a road map.

The Troyan Monastery Skit

  The Troyan monastery skit, named after St. Nikolay, is located about a kilometer south of it, on the west slope of Mt Ivan Dyal in Milencha quarter. It was built in 1778 by monks and rebels. Consecrated in 1785 by Paisius, the abbot of the monastery of Troyan, it was rebuilt in its present form in 1812. During the period 1794-1869, it hosted the Troyan Monastery religious school. It is a complex of church, residential buildings and a spring. The church was built in 1812, and the new residential buildings - in 1950s by Archimandrite Joseph Minkov. The built in the second half of the 18th century St. Nikolay Church has a fascinating carved and multi chrome iconostasis in early Tryavna woodcarving style. The royal doors of the iconostasis have the signature of Hieromonk Cyprian and date - 1794. About the iconostasis’ age evidence are several icons, including "St. Nicholas" and "St. Elijah in chariot", similar to the manner and the signature techniques of Tryavna artists.

    In 1832 Partenii built a second skit dedicated to St. John the Baptist, later given the name "Zelenikovets" from the area where it   was built. During the April Uprising in 1876, Turkish troops destroyed it in the pursuit of nearby band of rebels led by Philip Totyo. In 1913 the monastery was rebuilt in its present form and in 1914 the new church was consecrated.
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