RILA MONASTERY - BULGARIA
The Rila monastery lies in the Rila mountain, at 1,147 meters above sea level. It is situated 117km away from Sofia to the south. The monastery is flanked by the small mountain rivers of Rilska and Drushlyavitsa . Rila Monastery was founded in the 10th century by St John of Rila, a hermit canonized by the Orthodox Church. His ascetic dwelling and tomb became a holy site and were transformed into a monastic complex, which subsequently played an important role in the spiritual and social life of medieval Bulgaria.