Rila Monastery Travel Guide

Browse 7 travel reviews, 4 travel blogs and 478 travel photos from real travelers to Rila Monastery.

Rila Monastery Overview

The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, better known as the Rila Monastery (Bulgarian: Рилски манастир, Rilski manastir) is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is situated in the southwestern Rila Mountains, 117 km (73 mi) south of the capital Sofia in the deep valley of the Rilska River at an elevation of 1,147 m (3,763 ft) above sea level. The monastery is named after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila (876 - 946 AD).

Founded in the 10th century, the Rila Monastery is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and is a key tourist attraction for both Bulgaria and Southeastern Europe. The monastery is depicted on the reverse of the 1 lev banknote, issued in 1999.[1]

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