The town of Melnik and the Rozhen Monastery
Commission Nationale de la R.P. de Bulkgarie pour l'Unesco
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The town, the mediaeval fortress above it and the monastery (5 km from the town) are all located in an unusual surrounding of natural sand pyramids and a canyon of fantastically shaped eroded roc is a remarkable collection of architectural, artistic and archaeological monuments of major historical significance. Most important among them are the three-storey feudal castle, the mediaeval churches containing most valuable icons of the 13th to l9th century. The typical house architecture of the 18th and l9th centuries is notable indeed. Erected during the Middle Ages, the Rozhen Monastery has preserved its three portions added to it in the 16th, 17th, 18th and l9th centuries. The murals were painted from the 16th through the 18th centuries. Three unique wood-carved altars and over one hundred highly valued icons ha also been preserved. The monastery is a genuine masterpiece of art which was created in the course of several centuries.