The Bulgarian clergyman, Teodosii of Turnovo, was the founder of this monastery. It is known to have been built between 1348 and 1350. Teodosii with the help of the then-ruler, Tsar Ivan Alexander established one of the most important centers of the Bulgarian education and literature in the monastery. The most famous student there was the future Bulgarian Patriarch, Evtimii of Turnovo.
The monastery was well fortified, but this fact did not help the cloister to be saved from being ruined to the ground. The cultural centre was completely destroyed by the Ottoman troops, too. In 1718 the cloister was restored in its present-day place. Later, the monastery was destroyed by the so-called Kurdzhalii several times, but it was rebuilt again and again.
The famous Bulgarian Renaissance master, Kolyo Fitcheto, started the construction of the church St. Dimitar in 1840. It represents one-dome basilica, in which the old altar wall was preserved by the master. The two chapels, dedicated to St Teodosii and St. Ivan of Rila, were preserved, too. The iconostasis was done by two woodcarvers – father and son – from the town of Tryavna. The icon painters were from the same town.
Two beautiful residential buildings in authentic Renaissance style, added to the complex, form its present-day appearance. The monastery is declared a monument of culture.