Bulgaria is a country with rich cultural heritage and important parts of this heritage are the Bulgarian monasteries. These unique temples are not only historical and architectural landmarks, but also symbols of the Bulgarian spiritual power which preserved the Christian faith during many turbulent times.
The Bachkovo Monastery is our next must-see place in the Plovdiv region (pronounced “Bachkovski manastir”). This beautiful landmark is situated 29 km south from Plovdiv and 9 km away from Asenovgrad, in the valley of the Chepelarska river in the Western Rodopi mountain. The monastery is only 2 km south from Asen’s fortress so you can combine the two landmarks in a single trip and go on an exciting Bulgarian adventure!
The monasteries have played an important role in our history. They are beacons of traditional Bulgarian and Christian culture. Many of them have impressive architecture and unique interior. The magnificent wood-carving works and wall – paintings also contribute to the one of a kind atmosphere in the Bulgarian temples. Some of the biggest monasteries treasure miraculous icons which gather many Christians during holidays. There is such icon in the Bachkovo Monastery as well. The sacred image of St. Mary there is believed to cure the ill and to help the childless.
The Bachkovo monastery was built in 1083 by two brothers of Byzantine and Georgian origin. It is the second biggest monastery in Bulgaria after the Rila monastery. The unique landmark consists of several buildings – the main church “Sv. Bogoroditsa”(„Св. Богородица”, “Saint Mary”), the “Sv. Arhangeli” (“Св. Архангели”,“Saint Archangels”) and the “Sv. Nikola”(„Св. Никола”, “Saint Nicholas”) churches, Starata trapezaria (Старата трапезария, the Old dining room) and Kostnitzata (Костницата,the Ossuary). The Bachkovo monastery has managed to preserve the spirit of three cultures – the Byzantine, the Bulgarian and the Georgian one.
The most comfortable way to reach the monastery is by car. You just take the Plovdiv boulevard “Asenovgradsko shose” and drive south-east until you exit the city(if you can’t find the boulevard, check the instructions in our previous blog about Asen’s fortress ). The “Asenovgradsko shose” unites with road № 86 connecting Plovdiv and Asenovgrad. Drive straight and after fifteen minutes you will reach the city of Asenovgrad. Then stay on the same road and soon you will pass along the Asen’s fortress. Don’t leave road № 86 for another 10 km (approximately 15 min) and you will enter the village of Bachkovo.
The monastery is about a kilometer south from the center of the village and if you keep driving on the same road you will see a sign “Бачковски манастир” (the Bachkovo monastery) indicating an exit on the left . Take the road on the left and it will lead you to the monastery.
Working time: 08.00 h – 17.00 h, every day.
Tel: +359 3327 22 77; +359 889 278 583
Don’t forget to try some of the delicious sweets, offered at the market in front of the monastery!