Bistrets Monastery

Popular Name Bistrets
Orthodox Name St. Ivan Rilski
Region NW, Vratsa

The Bistrets monastery is located in the Kasinata area on a flat country under an impressive ring of rocks in the Vratchanska mountain.

History and general info
It was founded in the 16th century and its patron is St. Ioan Theologian. The monastery was restored in 1867. In the period 1894-1928 it was deserted by the monks and since then it is called "Pusti" (Deserted). In 1928 it was sanctified with a new name - "St. Ivan Rilski". At present it is deserted. It was declared a monument of culture.

The monastery is a complex including a church and half-ruined residential buildings. The church (robbed by treasure - hunters) was built up in the 16th century. It is one-nef, three-apse, with a cupola on a high cylinder. It is supported by three flying buttresses on the northern and southern side. Two layers of wall paintings are preserved - from the 16th century and from 1867. These were also damaged by treasure-hunters. At the foot of the ring of rocks there is a shallow cave called " postnitsata" which is difficult of access and where, according to the legend, St. Ivan Rilski lived. In the 19th century in the monastery there functioned a workshop for pressure forging - for engraving on copper. From the monastery terrace the water of the karst spring forms a beautiful waterfall.

Patron Saint's day is on October 19th.
Accommodation and food
The monastery is on the territory of the Bistrets residential district, 6 km to the west of the town of Vratsa.

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