Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Rila Monastery - BULGARIA - UNESCO #216

Built more than a 1000 years ago, the Rila Monastery is probably the most representative cultural UNESCO site in Bulgaria, according to Borislava, the nice postcrosser from Sofia that sent me this beautiful card. Thanks a lot Borislava, thanks to you I now have 55 sites, 907 more and I'll be a very happy collector. This postcard took 24 days to arrive!

UNESCO #216 - Rila Monastery - BULGARIA
 
Rila Monastery was founded in the 10th century by St John of Rila, a hermit canonized by the Orthodox Church. His ascetic dwelling and tomb became a holy site and were transformed into a monastic complex which played an important role in the spiritual and social life of medieval Bulgaria. Destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 19th century, the complex was rebuilt between 1834 and 1862. A characteristic example of the Bulgarian Renaissance (18th–19th centuries), the monument symbolizes the awareness of a Slavic cultural identity following centuries of occupation.



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