The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, better known as the Rila Monastery is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is situated in the southwestern Rila Mountains, 117 km (73 mi) south of Sofia in the deep valley of the Rilska River. The monastery is named after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila (876 – 946 AD).
Founded in the 10th century, the Rila Monastery is regarded as one of Bulgaria’s most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and is a key tourist attraction for both Bulgaria and Southern Europe. wikipedia
Photo Gallery: Rila Monastery Bulgaria
During the period of the Bulgarian National Revival (18th-19th century), the monastery was destroyed by fire in 1833 and then reconstructed between 1834 and 1862 with the help of wealthy Bulgarians from the whole country. The complex became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.