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Bulgaria

MONASTERIES

PREOBRAZENSKI (TRANSFIGURATION) MONASTERY



Legend has it that the foundation of the PREOBRAZHENIE MONASTERY dates back to the reign of tsar Ivan Alexander (1331-1371). South of it there are remains from a mediaeval monastery. During the Ottoman rule the monastery was abandoned till 1825 when hieromonk Zossim (Zotik) settled there from the Rila Monastery and got down to work on its restoration. The main church built in 1834 by master Dimiter Sofialiyata was completed by Nikola Fichev and painted by Zahari Zograph in 1849-1851. The residential wings were raised in 1834-1857 and the guest-room, started in 1834, was completed by Nikola Fichev along with the winter church of the Annunciation.The masterpriece of another age, of other principles in architecture and art, is the Transfiguration Monastery, erected 7 km from Veliko Turnovo in one of the pictureque gorges of the Yantra River. A world of much sun and vivacity greets up here. It was burned to the ground when the capital of the Second Bulgarian State was taken; centuries had pass before life was reinstated here, on the top of the ruins. The monastery started its second existence only in 1825. A part of the building and the Holy Virgin Church were erected - a revival of the late 14th century Athos type of architecture, an absolute exception from the ideas and construction principles of the National Revival period. Construction of the second church - The Transfiguration - started in 1832. The famous architect of the Bulgarian National Revival, Kolyo Ficheto, embarked on the construction of the new church. He created one of the supreme examples of Bulgarian Baroque - a cruciform, three - apside and domeshaped building.


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