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Bulgaria

Rozhen monastery


The “Virgin Mary’s Nativity” monastery is one of the few monasteries that is preserved ever since it was built in the middle ages. It is situated in the lower south western part of Pirin 6 km away from Melnik.
A marvelous view to the magnificent peaks of Pirin and Belasitsa mountains and the unique Melnik pyramids reveals from here. The monastery was built in the remote 890 year. In the 17th century the monastery was burned out but it was restored in the 18th century.

Many men of means made rich donations to renovate the temple. During the 19th century the Pozhen monastery was in its apogee and it was a cultural and spiritual centre. The flourishing period was ceased by the revolutionary Yane Sandanski who conquered its lands.
Just like the other monasteries Rozhen monastery has its miraculous icon of Virgin Mary that protects the monasteries and the thousand of pilgrims. The legend tells that the icon belonged to a widow from Nikea (Greece). The Byzantine emperor Teofilous who struggled against the icon cult wanted to destroy the icon and the widow throw it in the river and the icon reached “Ivrion” Monastery in Greece. Later it was moved in Rozhen Monastery.

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