Arcodica Port

Osenovlashki Monastery „Virgin Mary” (Seven alters)

According to various sources and legends, the monastery was built during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (XII – XIV century). Robbed and burned during the Ottoman rule, the monastery was a spiritual and religious center of special importance for the development of the surrounding villages during this period. Тhe current monastery was finally formed during the restoration in 1770 and a monastery school was built next to it in 1848.
The monastery buildings include: a church with a bell tower, a three-story residential building (monastery school) and a second two-story residential building with monastic cells and a refectory (now a tourist dining room). Of special historical and architectural value is the ancient monastery church “Nativity of the St. Virgin Mary”. Seven smaller churches (alters) are built into it under one roof, hence the name “Seven alters”.
The monastery is the object of attention and is visited by prominent persons such as: Bishop Sofroniy Vrachanski, the national poet Ivan Vazov (“The Clapper is Tolling” is written here), the Bulgarian Patriarchs Cyril and Maximus, the Romanian Patriarch Feoktis, ministers and many citizens from all over Bulgaria, who bow with respect to this holy place and leave with great relief and spiritual satisfaction.

Zmey Goryanin – Svetlozar Dimitrov (1905-1958).

Convicted after the 9 September coup d’état by the so-called People’s Court and sentenced to 1 year in prison, Zmei Goryanin was pardoned in December 1945, but without the right to write more under his famous pseudonym. Georgi Karaslavov invited him to “report his mistakes” and regain the rights to publish, but he refused. His name was forgotten. But he didn’t not stop writing.

For the last 7 years of his life he has been a voluntary exile in the monastery “Seven Thrones”. There, among the beautiful unspoiled nature, he wrote poems, wrote the Register (Kondika) of the Bachkovo Monastery, kept a diary, left two unfinished novels, translated plays for the Musical Theater. And, of course, he wrote letters to his wife every day. And she climbed once a week the hills from Prolet station to the monastery. Alone, laden with food and clothes. Thus, for the rest of his life in the autumn of 1958, she was close to him, although she did not leave the family home.

After the death of her husband, with whom she had lived for 28 years, Sonya developed a singing talent in order to support herself. For 25 years she has been singing in the choir of the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. In 1998 she managed to intrigue famous literary historians, as a result of which her book “Спомените на една Змеица” appeared. She lived to be 94 and left this world with a sense she fulfilled her duty.

Photography: Nikolay Dimitrov

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