Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ

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Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus ChristThe Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ  is located on the Yantra River, 6 km north of Veliko Tarnovo near the village of Samovodene.

The Monastery is the largest of the monasteries located around Veliko Tarnovo and the 4th largest in Bulgaria. It was founded during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom in 13-14th century.

The building of the Monastery is connected with the personality of the second wife of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander – Sarah and their son Ivan Shishman who donated a lot of money for its reconstruction and repair. 

The Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ plays an important role in the spiritual life of the Bulgarian capital in 14c. In the Middle Ages the Monastery was located about 400 – 500 meters south of its present location.

The primary site of the monastery was abandoned after its destruction during the conquest of Veliko Tarnovo in the late 14th century. After the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule the monastery was repeatedly burned and pillaged by the Turks, and subsequently was destroyed completely. At its current location the Monastery was rebuilt in 1825. It was turned into one of the major cultural and revolutionary centers in Veliko Tarnovo.

The monastery played an important role in the struggle of the Bulgarian people for church and national independence. During the years of the Russo-Turkish War, the monastery was converted into a hospital. As a sign of gratitude the Russian soldiers donated the monastery with bells, chandeliers and liturgical books for the church. In 1991 part of the cells were destroyed after the collapsing of the cliffs above the monastery.

The frescoes in the church are from 1849 – 1851. The church iconostasis was created in 1838. Some of the icons are: Archangel Michael, The Mourning of St. Mary, Christ Almighty, Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, St. Andrew, and others.

The monastery has a library and a museum exhibition that holds church books, historical documents, valuable books and medieval Bulgarian icons and other works of applied art.

The Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ does not offer accommodation or meals. In Veliko Tarnovo you can find a wide choice of places for eating and sleeping.

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