Rila Monastery “St. John Rilski” is the largest monastery in Bulgaria. It is among the most significant cultural monuments in Bulgaria, a symbol of the country, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The monastery was founded in the 10th century by St. John the Wonderworker along the upper reaches of the Rila River.
In the courtyard of the present monastery, in 1335, a defense tower and a small one-nave church were erected by the local feudal lord Protosevast Hreljo. The tower is the oldest preserved building in the monastery complex. At the top of the tower is the “Holy Transfiguration” chapel with valuable frescoes from the 1430s.
In 1469, with the help of Mara Branković, the relics of St. John Rilski were brought back from Tarnovo to the Rila Monastery.
Since its foundation the monastery is known as literary and educational center. Educational activity was developed there by Neophyte Rilski who has founded a cell school there during the revival. The monastery sheltered many Bulgarian revolutionaries, among them Vasil Levski, Ilio Voivoda, Gotse Delchev, Peyo Yavorov and others.
Manuscripts, old printed books, documents from the 14th century to the 19th century are kept in the Rila Monastery. In the museum many ancient objects are exposed – such as icons, weapons, coin collection, etc.
In 1992, the Rila Monastery; The grave of St. John Rilski, including the Church of the Dormition of St. John Rilski” and the fasting woman St. John Rilski; The hermitage of St. Luke including the churches of St. Luke and the Holy Intercession of the Virgin Mary and the cell school; the metoch of Orlitsa with the church “St. St. Peter and Paul” and the Assumption Church have been declared as group architectural, historical and artistic complexes of national importance.
Metal – copper 999/1000, patina
Quality – matt
Weight – 20 gr
Diameter – 40 mm
Obverse – Rila monastery
Author Plamen Chernev, sculptor at Bulgarian Mint
Reverse – Author`s replica of St. John Rilski Wonderworker
Capsule and luxury cardboard packaging