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St.George Monastery, The

The St.George Monastery is situated one kilometer southeast of the village of Belashtitsa, and some 8 km north of Plovdiv.

The monastery was founded in 11th century (in the year 1020) by the Byzantine army-leader Nikifore Xifius (who played a key role in the capture of the Tsar Samuil’s soldiers near the village of Klyuch), and in 1364 it is ravaged by the Turks. Rebuilt in 18th century, it is again destroyed in a fire by the Turks when they were leaving during the Turkish-Russian War. After the Liberation the monastery was restored but remained in Greek jurisdiction until 1906. At the moment it is a functioning nun monastery, and is declared a Monument of Culture.

The monastery is a complex consisting of a church, civil and agricultural buildings and a chapel. The church was built in 1838 and is one-nave, one-apse building, with an inner and open narthex, without any dome or wall paintings. Under the open narthex is the holy spring, and in the yard there is a beautiful stone fountain, built in 1831. Next to the monastery, in the village of Belashtitsa, grows the tree having  the largest trunk in Bulgaria – a sycamore, with a trunk roundabout measurement of 15 meters.

The picturesque Rhodopes The picturesque Rhodopes
The picturesque Rhodopes
The picturesque RhodopesThe monastery is located in the skirts of the picturesque Rhodope Mountains, some 10 km south of Plovdiv.
The 1831 fountain The 1831 fountain
The 1831 fountain
The 1831 fountainThe oldest construction in the monastery – the fountain, with a sign in Greek, dating from 1831.
The sign on the fountain The sign on the fountain
The sign on the fountain
The sign on the fountainPart of the sign over the fountain.
The monastery yard The monastery yard
The monastery yard
The monastery yardThe lovely trees and bushes fill the monastery yard with blossoms.
The monastery church The monastery church
The monastery church
The monastery churchThe entrance of the church, built in 1838.
Spring colours Spring colours
Spring colours
Spring coloursThe monastery yard, covered with stones, indulging in spring colours.
The residential wing The residential wing
The residential wing
The residential wingThe residential wing of the monastery
The monastery church The monastery church
The monastery church
The St.George the Victorious monastery church  
The monastery gate The monastery gate
The monastery gate
The monastery gate
The St.George Monastery The St.George Monastery
The St.George Monastery
The St.George MonasteryThe monastery from the outside.