The second day of our trip began with a long drive from Sofia to Rila Monastery, the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria.  It is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bulgaria we visited in our trip.

This beautiful monastery is situated in the southwestern Rila Mountains.  Founded in the 10th century, the Rila Monastery is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments. The monastery is named after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila (876 - 946 AD).

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Beautiful mural

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Bell Tower

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Sneak peek of the Monastery from the window of the tower

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Ancient mural inside the tower

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Long line outside of the Monastery

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A cat enjoying an afternoon nap near the Monastery before waked by cat-loving tourists coming to pet it. 

A food stand nearby to grab a quick lunch.

Tip: Remember to bring your own water bottle. There is a fountain right outside of the Monestery to refill it with real spring water, helping save \($\) and our mother earth.



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