Glozhene Monastery

Popular Name Glozhene
Orthodox Name St. George the Victorious
Region NC, Lovech

The Glozhene monastery is located in the Northern Balkan mountains. Despite its name, it is in fact closer to the village of Malak Izvor, than to the neighboring village of Glozhene. It is built right on top of a mount and resembles a castle when viewed from a distance.

History and general info
According to the legend, shortly after the establishment of the monastery in 13th century, the icon of St George the Victorious, after whom the cloister was named, began to disappear repeatedly. The Ukrainian prince Glozh, the founder of the monastery, carried the icon with him from the Ukrainian lands. After the icon had disappeared several times, it was found on one and the same place - a hill not far away from the village where currently lies the present-day monastery. The monks adopted the inexplicable disappearances as a god’s sign for the monastery to be moved to the hills, and they eventually did in the end of the 14th century. For a short period of time, the two monasteries existed and functioned simultaneously, connected by an underground tunnel. This underground shortcut was used more than once by the Apostle of Freedom, Vassil Levski as an escape route while fleeing from his Ottoman persecutors. Unfortunately, the tunnel was filled up and became unusable after an earthquake in 1928.

Besides Vassil Levski, the monastery also hosted the famous Bulgarian man of letters, Vassil Drumev, who was kept into custody in the monastery for over 15 months. Vassil Drumev was set free after the fall of the Stambolov government.

The beautiful church, decorated richly with wall paintings, existed only until 1913 when an earthquake ruined it completely. The present-day church was built in 1951 in the place of the old one and represents a narrow, high building.
Accommodation and food
The complex of the Glozhene monastery offers accommodation, with the price of 7 levs per person in a double room. Food is not offered.
The off-road to the Glozhene monastery is close to the Yablanitsa town, off the Sofia-Varna main road. Shortly after one takes the off-road, one needs to take the way to the village of Malak Izvor and ride about 5km down a picturesque dirty but good road, with steep rocks one the one side, and a deep abyss on the other.
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