The Bachkovo Monastery
Commission nationale de la R.P. de Bulgarie pour l'Unesco
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The monastery is located in the Rhodope Mountains, not far from the town of Assenovgrad. Founded in the 11th century, it is one of the oldest monas-teries in the Balkan Peninsula.It was connected with three cultures: Byzantine, old Georgean and Bulgarian. It has preserved unique and highly valuable monuments of architecture and painting, typical of Eastern Orthodox culture. The monastery ossuary (11-12th century) is a two-storied chapel with murals in both stories. It is unique in the entire Eastern Orthodox world. The Church of the Holy Archangels is a rare example of a two- storied building from the 12th-14th centuries. The refectory (17th century) contains a picturesque ensemble wholly and splendidly preserved which could be compared to only one or two similar monuments in the territories of the Eastern Orthodox regions. The main monastery Church of Our Virgin contains murals of the 17th century which are very well preserved. The frescoes of the Church of St.Nicholas and of some of the monastery buildings are closely related to Balkan culture in the l9th century. There are several auxiliary buildings, chapels and of the shrines in the vicinity situated against varied and pleasant mountain natural scenery. The complex nature of this monument, its high degree of authenticity , its role in the cultural interrelationship of three nations during the Middle Ages, and the presence of valuable and unique monuments of architecture and painting determine its extraordinary significance.