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Bulgaria

Aladzha Monastery


The “Holy Trinity” monastery is of the many rocky monasteries which are still in process of research. It is situated 14 km away from Varna and 2 km away from the sea coast and “Golden Sands” resort. It is known as Aladzha (particoloured) monastery because of the lurid wall paintings. They are dating back from the middle ages and some of them are still preserved. Aladzha monastery is the most visited tourist site along the Bulgarian Black sea coast.
Probably the monastery was founded in the time of the early Christianity. During the 10th century it was constructed in the way we see it today. At the time of the Second Bulgarian kingdom the religious doctrine Hesihasm got very popular. Many monks and holy men left the large rich monasteries and started searching their unity with god among the inaccessible rocks and cliffs which became their asylum. So the rocky monasteries, including Aladzha monastery, thrived.
The monastery is a complex system of sells, churches, chapel and other premises, spread on several stages. On the south on the same cliff catacombs are located. Probably they were anchoretic sells and monks tombs. K. Shkorpil made the first complete research of the monastery. In 1889 he studied the cave and drew its constructive plan. There is a small museum in the monastery which shows exponents connected with the monastery history and the northern part of the Bulgarian Black sea coast.
But the most interesting part related with Aladzha monastery mystery is its mythology. May be it is because of the magnetic rocks and thick forests but many legends tell about hidden treasures and their sinister keepers around the monasteries. The most popular saga is about mysterious monk wandering around the ruins. His name is Rim Papa – the keeper of the hidden treasures, the monastery and the surrounding forest. As he meets someone he asks him about the people and how do they live. Then he closes his eyes and disappears. And he would do this until there are the monastery and the old fortress. And when they vanish something unusual will happen. Nobody knows what.

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