The monastery is believed to have emerged for the first time in 14th century around a holy spring. It was destroyed in 17th century during the forced conversion of Bulgarians from the Chepino area (Western Rhodopi) to Islam. In the late 17th century, the monastery was rebuilt and named after St Petka. Some years later, the old monastery “St Kirik and Yulita” was also restored next to it. The so-called Kurdzhalii bands destroyed the both buildings in 1810.
Between 1816 and 1835 the reconstruction of the present-day monastery was going on. In the middle of the 19th century the Greek Church took it over and in 1930 returned it to the Bulgarian church. During a violent fire in 1924 and an earthquake in 1928 the monastery was seriously damaged. During the 20es and 30es of the 20th century, “St Kirik and Yulita” hosted a religious school.
After 1944 the monastery was abandoned and transformed into an institution for mentally sick people. In 1982 the monastery was adapted as an international architectural academy by a team of architects and engineers. Between 1983 and 1987, the monastery was reconstructed and on September 25, 1987, it was reopened. Initially it served as a recreational and creative base of the Union. At present it represents a three-star hotel that is open to visitors.
The monastery complex consists of a church and massive two-storey residential building. The monastery church “St Petka” is a large, three-nave and single-domed pseudo-basilica with a narthex. The big Bulgarian painter Alexi Atanasov painted most of its frescoes. The icons from the iconostasis, painted by the great master Zahari Zograf, are with great artistic value. The church is under reconstruction and is due to open doors soon. A visitor can find the monastery’s well just behind the church’s apse. About 500m to the southeast of the monastery the monastery’s holy spring is located with its chapel dedicated to St Kirik and Yulita. The chapel still keeps some fragments and frescoes.