In the area of the monastery “Uspenie Bogorodichno” there are opportunities for different types of tourism – eco tourism, rural tourism, pilgrimage. The Sokolski Monastery is located at the end of the world where the Lord has poured out his generosity.
Surrounded by mountain peaks, beech forests and mountain streams. The surrounding area is located in the natural park “Bulgarka” and is under a strict regime of protection of the flora, fauna and natural resources.
Several information boards for landmarks, protected animal and plant species are placed at the entrance of the monastery. Next to the heavy wooden gate there is a black marble slab on which the history of the monastery is described. The last phrases very accurately describe the guests’ emotions a moment after they look inside.
“The heavy monastery gate crossed, the visitor was conquered by the magic of the flower gardens, the whiteness of the verandas, and the novel of the whirlpool fountain. She does not look and is not full of beauty and exclaims, “Lord, how good it is!”
Our breath really stops in front of the terrestrial beauty of the monastery yard. Its center is a fine fountain with 8 spouts, created by the wonderful master Usta Kolyu Ficheto. It is another proof of his genius. There is no other dome with a dome, its place calculated incredibly accurate. It is almost straight line and at the same height as the dome of the church, which is built on a lower level, to the rock.
If you stay in the monastery, you will understand the exact meaning of the phrase “water mourning”. Eightfold fountain literally sings. It was built in memory of the Bulgarians killed by Captain Dyado Nicola’s cheta. It is decorated with stone falcons sculptured in its corners.
The name of Sokolski Monastery
One of the versions for the name of Sokolski Monastery is that it is related to these symbols. There is also a suggestion that it stems from the fact that falcons nest in the area. The rock massif is now a refuge for many raptors. The pilgrims often hear their shriek. Another explanation is that the monastery was built on the Sokolla haramical compound. Once here were free guys, feels like falcons and trained in shooting.
Guests can not enjoy the beautiful garden that looks like a weave cloth with colorful threads. The alleys are outlined by the green boxwood shrubs that are snaking like snakes. The flowers are selected so that each season they look like a colorful bouquet and bloom “on waves”. The monastery building was mainly renovated with European funds.
The most popular explanation for the name of the monastery is that it was named after its founder, Joseph Sokolski. He arrived here in 1832 together with Hieromonk Agapius and lived in the stone terrace in front of the Sokolski Cave. The first church carved in the limestone rock, from which the altar part of the rock is preserved today. Metropolitan Ilarion Kritish of Turnovo was lit. It is behind the current church. The beautiful large temple was erected for 3 months with the active participation of the population from nearby neighborhoods.
Such enthusiasm today is inexplicable and worthy of worship.
It is portrayed by Pope Paul and his son Nicolas. The iconostasis is made by the Tryavna masters, and the temple icon is made by Gabrovo painter Hristo Tsokev. To this day, a small icon of God’s mother is preserved, which is considered to be miraculous. The entire monastery complex was completed during the Renaissance with the donations of the Gabrovians and residents of the surrounding villages.
In 1860 a moral chapel was erected above the big cave behind the church. Here they formed a two-storey ossuary. At the same time, the fence to the rock plume was built.
The Sokolski Monastery – “Uspenie Bogorodichno” is connected with the heroic struggle for freedom of the Bulgarian people. In 1865. here is the flag of Captain Dyado Nicola’s flag. The following year, Gabrovo participants in the April Uprising, led by Tsanko Dyustabanov, gathered here.
The monastery is also an enlightened center. In 1836. here was an open school of religion in which the famous enlightener Neofit Bozveli briefly taught.
Behind the church of the monastery there is a small chapel in the rock and the tradition is that the healing water flows through the stone. The water and the eightfold fountain is considered to be healing, and the worshipers say it protects from lessons.
If you decide to spend the night here, the next day you can go for a walk in the beautiful surroundings. Next to the monastery there is a relaxation area with swings and climbing frames for children. 50 meters from it is a barbecue place. In summer the place is suitable for a tent. But in all seasons there are wonderful places to walk. From the cloister, a trail for the peak “Stoletov” starts. From here is the route for Shipka peak, which passes through beech forests. If you chose a spring or autumn day for the march, you should know that the gullies are filled after rain very quickly. You will have to jump over small streams. The transition to Shipka is about 1-1 hour and a half.
An ideal weekend break is a walk from the Sokolski Monastery to the Architectural and Ethnographic Complex “Etara”. The distance between them is 3 km. You can leave the coveted eco path that goes down. You can also ride along the road, enjoying beautiful views.
If you decide to explore the ethnographic complex you will be transferred to the Renaissance. So you will realize how our ancestors lived more than a century ago. You will understand why they have separated from their morsels to build the church of the Sokol Monastery at the top of the rocks, and why they have chosen this magical place to create here a cloister with a paradise garden and a fountain.
Autor: Liliya Lozanova