The monastery was found during the Second Bulgarian State. It emerged around a spring of curable waters and was named after the saint brothers Kozma and Damyan for their being known as medicine men. The monastery has traditionally been visited by mentally sick persons, who are believed to get better after spending a night in its premises. There is a pair of chains in the anteroom of one of the churches, where mentally sick men used to be chained to the floor. The chains are believed to be curable if a sick person holds them for a while.
The monastery’s role as a place where sick people came in hope of being healed increased during the Ottoman domination. The Turkish authorities protected the monastery as a useful place not only for Bulgarians. The cloister was protected from robbers, including with the help of Turkish soldiers. During the 17th century, the monastery was a centre of letters. The Plovdiv association of producers of abba (a type of woolen cloth) supported the monastery financially.
The monastery complex includes farming and residential buildings, as well as a big holy spring nearby. It has two churches – “St. St. Kozma and Damyan”, built in the 15th century and “St. Annunciation”, built in the 50es of the 20th century. During the wave of forced conversion of Bulgaria’s population to Islam, the monastery was set on fire more than once, but its unique wall-paintings survived. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Greek monks ran the monastery and because of that reason the church’s original frescoes were covered with new paintings and Greek inscriptions on them. But after the restoration works, both layers of paintings were restored and can now be seen.
The official monastery holiday is on 29th June, Peter’s Day. The religious celebrations continue for three days. On the very day, the icon of St. St. Kozma and Damyan is taken out of the church.
The monastery is declared a monument of culture. Currently it is operational and open to visitors.