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This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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St. Anastasia Monastery

St. Anastasia Monastery

St. Anastasia island

RELIGIONS Catholic, Orthodox


The Monastery of St. Anastasia is situated on the island of the same name in the Black Sea bay of Bourgas, located 6.5 km southeast of Bourgas and about 1.5 km from the nearest dry-cape Chukalya. The island is made of volcanic rocks, the height is 12 meters, its area is 0.022 sq. km. St. Anastasia is the only preserved insular cloister in Bulgaria. In the Middle Ages, similar sanctuaries existed on the Sozopol islands of St. John, Saint Kirik and Julita and on the island of St. Thomas, but now there are only archaeological remains. The monastic chapel was built 15th-16th century. A remarkable baroque iconostasis from 1802 is preserved. Frescoes represent three stages of the monastery’s history - 16-17 century, 18 century and early 19 century. A precious 18 century icon of the patron Saint Anastasia survives. Today it is on display in the church of St. Mary in Burgas. Since 2001, Saint Anastasia has the status of a cultural and historical landmark.
The earliest human presence on the island can be traced back to the late antiquity (IV-VI century). The begginings of monastic life on the island date from the reign of Emperor Theodosius (379-395 CE). The earliest evidence of the existence of the Saint Anastasia monastery dates back to the 15th century. Over the decades, it has been attacked by pirates and soldiers, destroyed and rebuilt several times. The island of Saint Anastasia first painted on the map of the Black Sea by the Dutch cartographer Nicholas Watsen in the last decade of the 17th century. At the beginning of the XIX century the convent was rebuilt once again. On August 15, 1901 the monastery was consecrated anew. The monastic chapel was renamed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The church cloister functioned until 1923, when it was turned into a prison. In the span of two years, 132 political prisoners were kept there. From July to October 1941, St. Anastasia was again used as an insulator. After 1944, the island was renamed to Bolshevik in honor of communist political prisoners. In 1967 the Socialist government declared it a "historic place of the revolutionary struggle". The convent was returned to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church after 1989. The name Saint Anastasia was restored in 1991.
St. Anastasia Pharmacolitria is one of the few women-martyrs, venerated zealously both by the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Church. She is one of the seven women who along with the Blessed Virgin Mary are commemorated by name in the Roman Canon of the Mass. The name “Anastasia” comes from the Greek word for “resurrection”. The epithet “Pharmacolitria” means “deliverer from potions”. A legendary herbalist and healer during her lifetime, St. Anastasia is credited with the protection of the faithful from poison and other harmful substances. On December 22, 304 the order was executed. According to the church tradition, Saint Anastasia died, but her body remained undamaged by the fire. The memory of the saint is celebrated on December 22 - the day of her martyrdom.
According to the Orthodox calendar Greatmartyr Anastasia is celebrated on the day of her martyrdom - 22 December. Since on this winter day the sea is harsh and obstructs the sailing, the annual celebration of the island is on 15 August – the day of the Blessed Virgin Mary. as winter small island is difficult and it is impossible to massively visited. On this day every year boats, keels and all kinds of vessels carry worshipers from the coastal cities, from the inland and the mountains.
- Direct visit - Virtual visit: See the photo galleries in the media resources section. - Discussion: What was the most interesting or surprising thing learned?

St. Petka rock-hewn chapel - 63 46, 2460 Tran





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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.