Bulgarian World Heritage: Rila Monastery

Included in the World Heritage list, Rila Monastery dates from the 10th century.

The monastic complex played a key role in the spiritual and social life of medieval Bulgaria.


Photo: © Vincent Ko Hon Chiu

It was destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 19th century but was later on rebuilt between 1834 and 1862.

It is an important characteristic of the Bulgarian Renaissance that took place during the 18th and 19th centuries when the Slavic values were imparted upon the Rila region.


Photo: © Vincent Ko Hon Chiu

Rila Monastery symbolises the awareness of a Slavic cultural identity following centuries of occupation.

Its architectural styles have been preserved on the property as historical monuments.

There haven’t been substantial changes to the integrity of the property since its inscription on the World Heritage List.


Photo: © Vincent Ko Hon Chiu

The landmark is preserved under various laws like Religious Affairs Law, Property Law, Cultural Heritage Law, Forest Law and the Protected areas Law.

There are conservation works planned that include the preservation of the medieval and renaissance wood-carving and mural paintings existing in associated churches and chapels of the monastery complex

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Photos: © Vincent Ko Hon Chiu

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