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Aladzha Monastery is the most famous medieval rock monastery on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The monastery is located near the Golden Sands resort.
The monastery most likely got its name due to the colored paintings that adorn a small church carved into the rock. The monastery complex is located on two tiers, which are connected by an external wooden staircase. On the ground floor there are monastic cells, a monastery church, a refectory, a kitchen, a crypt, a master's premises and a church for funeral services. The second floor of the monastery is occupied by a natural rock niche, in the eastern part of which there is a monastery chapel.
Legend has it that in the 14th century during the Turkish rule, the monastery life here practically died out.
According to archaeological data , the very first monastic cells appeared here in 4th century. The construction of the monastery took place only in the 12th century during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. At the present time, unfortunately, only a small part of the frescoes have survived, mainly in the chapel. The master who painted the monastery most likely belonged to the Tarnovo school of painting.
Since 1906, the monastery complex has been functioning as a tourist center and museum. In 1912, Aladzha was declared a monument of antiquity, and 45 years later, – national cultural monument. In 1975-1977, a museum was built here, in which an exposition telling about the history of the rock monastery is presented. Also, temporary exhibitions are often held in the museum.
The top floor of the complex offers a breathtaking view of the sea coast.
Not far from the Aladzha monastery, you can observe the ruins of another monastery complex, similar in architecture to Aladzha. Today this complex is called the Catacombs. During archaeological excavations, ancient coins and pottery were found here.
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Topic: Aladzha Monastery in Bulgaria, Golden Sands resort.