"Bachkovo Monastery" Bachkovo by johnsakura

Bachkovo Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 50 photos

Bachkovo Monastery

Second only to Rila Monastery in national significance, Bachkovo dates from 1083 when it was established by Grigori Bakuriyani, a high-ranking Georgian in the Byzantine administration. At the end of his life he wanted to exonerate his sins and so he had this monastery built. He himself stipulated in the code of ethics (kept in the monastery museum) that "a man of Byzantine descent not be accepted as a monk here." Over the centuries the monastery has been ruined and rebuilt several times; only the eleventh century ossuary is original. The latter, a two-story building, is 200 meters cast of the monastery; on the second floor is a mural depicting Tsar Ivan Alexander and his wife, and another of the monastery's founder and his brother. In the refectory, the dining room table consists of a large marfale slab. Underneath the wall and ceiling plaster researchers have found portraits of philosophers Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Diogenes and Aristophanes.

In the museum (formerly the kitchen) there is a sabre which belonged to crusader Fridrich Barbarosa and icons by Zahari Zograph and his followers. The Zograph mural in St Nicola church (dating from 1850) depicts the Apocalypse and is one of the most interesting examples of Bulgarian revival art. It features realistic portraits of highly-placed contemporary figures in full dress as well as sinners in the nude awaiting judgment. On the same wall, Zograph drew a portrait of himself standing alongside the head abbot of the monastery.
the monastery is 39km from Plovdiv.

me Joao Leitao and my friend Emil Kostadiniv

  • Last visit to Bachkovo: Jun 2001
  • Intro Updated Dec 8, 2003
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