About 20 kilometers from the city of Varna, at the western end of the Golden Sands Nature Park and an hour's walk from the Golden Sands beach itself, is the famous Aladzha Monastery, a famous rock-cut monastery offering a short history in the region.
This is an ancient Orthodox Christian monastery that was carved by monks in a cave and turned the high cliff into a particularly impressive church, an interesting and intriguing archaeological site where you can see the impressive remains of the cave monastery that was carved on the mountain, inside and out.
The monastery of Elja was probably hewn before the 10th century. It is built on several levels, over a cliff about 25 meters high. Monks lived here mainly from the 12th to the 18th century, when the peak of activity was in the 13th and 14th centuries, when many monks occupied the monastery. In the 16th century it was almost completely abandoned.
It is one of the most beautiful rock estates in Europe and is best known for its rocky monasteries along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.
In the eyes of the surrounding inhabitants, the forest surrounding the monastery is also considered sacred. This is one of the reasons why the monastery survived relatively well and was not corrupted, not even during Ottoman rule.
In 1927, the monastery, which during the Second Bulgarian Empire was a major spiritual center, was declared a historical monument. In 1968, it was recognized as a Bulgarian national monument of the highest archaeological and cultural importance.
It is a very enjoyable experience to climb to the monastery on the narrow path that leads to it and visit the caves in which it resides. All around you will see natural landscapes of forests and cliffs that nature lovers will love very much and the children will enjoy them too.
Alongside the church you will also see the dining room and the kitchen of those days, alongside the underground room and the abundance of beautiful frescoes in the main chapel, the beautiful frescoes and beautiful mosaics that survived on the walls and stand out especially here.
There is an interesting museum, where you can learn about the history of the monastery. Outside was the farmhouse where the monks worked and raised food for their needs. A nice short path to the west of the monastery leads to a small patch of forest with ancient burial caves of the monks.
The audiovisual show "Legends of Aladzha Monastery". Available here at an additional cost, on Sundays or Wednesdays between May and October.
Opening hours: May to October Tuesday to Saturday 9: 00-21: 00, November to April Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00.
The monastery is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.