Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

The town of Melnik and the Rozhen Monastery

Date of Submission: 01/10/1984
Criteria: (i)(iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Commission Nationale de la R.P. de Bulkgarie pour l'Unesco
Coordinates: Town of Melnik and its surroundings
Ref.: 50

The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


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.