Guess who sent me these cards?? Lilia, of course. Bachkovo and Rozhen are two bulgarian monasteries, both on the UNESCO Tentative list.
The Bachkovo Monastery is an important monument of Christian architecture and one of the largest and oldest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Europe. The monastery is known and appreciated for the unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian culture, united by the common faith.
The monastery was founded in 1083 by Prince Gregory Pakourianos, a prominent statesman and military commander in the Byzantine service, as a Byzantine Iberian Orthodox monastery. He set up a seminary for the youth at the monastery. The curriculum in the first place included religion, as well as mathematics, history and music. In the 13th century, Byzantine Iberian Monks of the Petritsioni (Bachkovo) Monastery lost the domination over the monastery, but their traditions were preserved until the beginning of 14th century and an Armenian Gospel of the 10th century lived to this day. During the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire, Bachkovo Monastery was patronized by Tsar Ivan Alexander, which is evidenced by an image of him on the arches of the ossuary's narthex.
Although the monastery survived the first waves of Turkish invasion in Bulgarian lands, it was later looted and destroyed, but restored near the end of the 15th century. The refectory, whose mural paintings by an anonymous painter bear a significant artistic value, was reconstructed in 1601 and the Church of Mary, still preserved today, was finished in 1604. - in: wikipedia
The Rozhen Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God is the biggest monastery in the Pirin Mountains in southwestern Bulgaria. It is one of the few medieval Bulgarian monasteries well preserved until today.
The earliest archaeological evidence of medieval life at the place is a grave with a few coins and decorations from the time of Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos (1259–1282). Some other items also date to the 13th century while the marble frieze above the central gate of the church dates to the 13th or 14th century. A couple of new buildings were constructed in the monastery at the time of Despot Alexius Slav. .
The monastery church was built before the 15th century and painted in 1597; some of those frescoes are preserved. In 1611, the south facade was painted. The Rozhen Monastery was devastated by fire between 1662 and 1674, destroying the library and severely damaging most buildings. The monastery was restored over the next century with the financial help of rich Bulgarians from the whole country. The reconstruction began in 1715 and was fully finished in 1732.
The monastery reached its apogee in the 19th century, when it was a regional centre of Orthodox Christianity and owned a lot of land in the area. - in: wikipedia