as Arapovski monastery it was founded in 1855, according
to a legend. Built in 1856 by voluntary donations of the
local population. It was build from masters from village
Yugovo, led by Stoyan Gudevski. stonemasons from Bachkovo
also participated. In 1878 it was burn down by the retreating
Turkish troops. Today only the west wing is restored and
preserved. The building is a typical monastery - I floor
- business premises, II floor - living rooms with balconies.
The restored, richly ornamented woodwork, cupboards and
ceilings, as well as dynamic bay windows, represent the
creative possibilities of the local master-builders.
monastery was a nest of rebels and fighters against the
Turkish tyranny. The presence of the only survived tower
since the rebel's time in the ensemble is associated with
the name of the famous Angel leader. Which confirms the
monastery's role in the fight against the oppressor. Today,
from the whole monastic ensemble, founded in 1856, only
the west wing with business buildings in the first floor
and residential areas with balconies on the second floor
is reserved. Expression of the fighting spirit of Bulgarians,
who built the monastery as a fortress, with small windows
alternating with narrow vents (loopholes) are preserved
traces of fresco - Samson's fight with the Nubian lion
- symbol of our struggle against the oppressors.
only one in Bulgaria was built in the plane. Located 5
km from Asenovgrad town.
centrally in the courtyard is the church "Saint Nedelya".
In architectural terms it is close to the church in Bachkovo
monastery and the church in the monastery "St. Kirik
and Julita" - church with cross dome. Built from
white granite, the church is a real architectural jewel
among the green monastery courtyard. It is has three entrances
- north, south and west. Over official, western entrance
is preserved inscription: "... when Archbishop Paisii,
father Archimandrite Sophronius, abbot of the Moldavskago
monastery, with all pious and Orthodox Christians was
build this temple in the year 1859, September 18 ..."
From this inscription is clear that the two monastery
near Assenovgrad - "Saint Petka" and "Saint
Nedelya" had a general supervision, for who find
written evidence yet in Stanimaka's sinurname (financial
record) in 1519.
whole central part of the church "Saint Nedelya"
is painted. Judging by the style and colorful features,
it is the work of four painters. Most of the mural is
the work of young painter Georgi Danchov, associate of
Levski. In the altar apse inscription: "1864, June
19, painter Georgii"is preserved. He worked here
with his teacher Alexi Atanasov from Stanimaka.
Future revolutionary and a great patriot-painter Georgi
Danchov gives us the church cycle of compositions from
the life of the Slavic educators Cyril and Methodius -
translation of the Slavic alphabet, ordination priests
and education the people. In this worldly themes the artist
has emphasized strong national element. A group of villagers
listening to Slavic speech are dressed in trousers, framed
with red sashes, wearing sandals, girded with leggings
and black strings. The hooded cloaks are in different
colors and striped shirts. Children are dressed in white
shirts and blue trousers. Led by patriotic feelings the
artist's gallery shows number of Bulgarian saints images,
led by patriarch Evtimii Tarnovsky.
are transmitted through the life of St. Ivan Rilski and
unknown Bulgarian woman beheaded by Turks. The temple
has preserved many frescoes with everyday items, highlighted
is the main occupation of people from this region, transmitted
is the monastery nature around. All words are in Bulgarian
language. In the northern apse two-line inscription testifies
that donors who painted the church are patriots from Chirpan.
his typical of the era stylistic features and iconography,
with its themes, the murals in the monastery "Saint
Nedelya" testify a high national pride and militant
spirit of the Bulgarians painters and donors. 155 painted
scenes and images are a real wall gallery with rich and
purposeful patriotic suggestions. according to the art
professor Atanas Bozhkov " They are a sort of gallery
of historical figures and facts, with short verbal information
about the Bulgarian saints in solemn poses."
to get there?
Arapovo monastery "Saint Nedelya" is located
8 km from Asenovgrad town. You will find it easy - just
after the Asenovgrad town’s exit, take the road to Parvomay
and you will see the monastery symbol.
photo authors: Nina Yaneva,