For more than thousand years now the majestic Rila Mountain has been hiding in its bosom the treasure of Bulgarian enlightenment, literature and culture.
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Background: For more than thousand years now the majestic Rila Mountain has been hiding in its bosom the treasure of Bulgarian enlightenment, literature and culture.
The Rila Monastery was founded in the first half of the 10th century by Ivan Rilski. Up to the 15th century it was chiefly a refuge for monks. The monastery became widely known at the time of the Bulgarian feudal lord Hralyo, who built the tower, the little church near the tower and several inhabitable premises.
During the Turkish rule the monastery preserved its inner independence and became a center of the Bulgarian enlightenment and culture. From the 16th century on it began to actively spread the Slavonic and, in the first place, the Russian influence on the Balkan Peninsula. Three times the monastery was destroyed by incendiaries. Many valuable documents and beautiful wood-works perished in the fires.
The monastery was rebuilt in its present aspect by a master builder named Aleksi from the village of Rila after the big incendiary in January 1839. The church was built in the period from 1834 to 1837 by master builder Pavel. It harmonizes beautifully with the rest of the buildings.
In 1961 the monastery was proclaimed a national museum and it is being now entirely restored. The library contains many precious books and documents Old-Slavonic manuscripts. Turkish ??? old lithographics etc. Many frescoes from the time of the Bulgarian National Revival painted by outstanding Bulgarian artists are preserved in the church.
The museum which is to be officially opened in near future, contains many valuable exhibits. It will give the thousands of Bulgarian and foreign visitors an opportunity to get acquainted with the works of the Bulgarian Renaissance in the fields of architecture, painting and wood-carving.