Lifelong Learning Programme

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.

Select language

This section of the Pathway through Religions portal provides administrative information for the project contractual partners and for the European Commission and it is password protected.


Homepage > ReligiousSite Map > Map

An interactive didactical map interactive didactical map giving access to sites with a religious relevance.

Back to the Religious Sites List

Transfiguration Monastery

Transfiguration Monastery

5031 Преображенски манастир



The Transfiguration Monastery is one of the five stauropegic (autonomous) monasteries of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. It is one of the most important religious centers in the country, drawing many pilgrims, scholars and tourists. It is famous with its distinctive architecture and well-preserved collection of artistic masterpieces that represent the peak of the Bulgarian Revival period. The monastic church contains one of the most celebrated Bulgarian frescoes - The Wheel of Life by Zahari Zograph. The Transfiguration Monastery is located in a beautiful mountainous area at the gorge of the Yantra River. High rocks bulge above the holy cloister. The plateau reveals a vast panoramic view. The Holy Trinity monastery can be seen below. The library and museum exposition preserve the treasures of the monastery: manuscripts, historical documents, valuable medieval Bulgarian books and icons, as well as other works of applied art. The Transfiguration Monastery is a national monument of architecture and art.
It was established in the 11th century CE and was originally a cloister of the Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos until it acquired autonomy in 1360. Its gratest benefactors were King Ivan Alexander's second wife Sarah-Theodora and their son Ivan Shishman. The two donated generous funds for its reconstruction and renovation. In Middle Ages the monastery was situated about 500 m south of its present location. After the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule in the end of 14th century, the monastery was repeatedly burned and plundered by the Turks. After its utter destruction, the original site was abandoned. Centuries later, Father Zothik of the Rila Monastery reestablished the convent. The year was 1825. A sultan decree permitted the construction of a new church in 1832. It was designed by the noted architect Kolyu Ficheto and completed in 1834. The cross-shaped church features three apses, a single dome and a covered narthex. The church has a unique design which incomparable to any other shrine in a Bulgarian monastery. In the period 1849-1851, the master iconographer Zahari Zograph painted the murals and icons in the main monastery church. Among the more notable murals are those of the Last Judgment, the Wheel of Life, the Birth of the Mother of God, the Last Supper. Zograf also painted Saints Cyril and Methodius, as well as a self-portrait. In addition, the main church was richly decorated on the outside and a wood-carved and gold-plated iconostasis was installed. From 1858 to 1863 Kolyu Ficheto built the bell tower, part of the residential buildings and the main monastery entrance. The underground chapel St. Andrew was built. In 1863, the construction of the small church Annunciation was completed. The Transfiguration monastery has played an important role in the struggle of the Bulgarian people for religious and national independence.
The monastery was one of the most important cultural and educational centers of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, and in the era of the National Revival. Today it is one of the most precious monuments of architecture and art in Bulgaria and a place of spirituality and and pilgrimage.
The temple holiday is the Transfiguration of the Lord on August 6. It celebrates the appearance of Jesus Christ before his three disciples Peter, James and John. On July 6, 1991, a large rock mass fell from the wreath above the monastery into the patio of the holy cloister near the church. The wondrous thing is that in this incident there were no injured people and the temple remained intact. It was preserved by the clock tower that, like a faithful watchman stood against the falling rocks, seeping one of the largest. Part of the rocks still stands there in memory of the miracle.
- Direct visit
- Virtual visit: Watch the video and see the photo galleries in the media resources section.
- Classroom activity World Religions Through Art (

Patriarchal Monastery of the Holy Trinity - Saint Trinity Monastery, 5040





Follow us


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.