The St. Prophet Elijah Strupets Monastery

The monastery is located in a beautiful mountainous area in the vicinity of Strupets, near the meanders of Iskar down the northern slopes of the Old Mountain.

According to scant information, the Tirzhishte /Strupets/ monastery existed since the early 14th century, when a market /tirzhishte/ operated in the vicinity, hence the monastery's name. According to other reports, the monastery existed at the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and was burnt down during the early years of the Ottoman rule, with only the church – claimed to date back to the 14th century – surviving from that period. However, the architectural plan suggests that it was built in the 16th or 17th century, when its murals were probably made. Albeit significantly damaged, the ancient murals provoke interest with their realistic tendencies and rich architectural decoration. The church foundations are hollow, imparting a mysterious acoustic quality to the interior - please, trust us on this one and do not try it for yourself!

The restoration of the monastery began in 1824, when a wealthy Vratsa local, Dimitraki Hadzhitoshin, hired masons who worked at night to restore the church roof: according to Ottoman laws, a building with a roof could not be destroyed. It was most probably at that time that the renovated Premises were handed over to the Cherepish Monastery to serve as nunnery.

In 1851, based on local donations, the construction of a new residential part began. The three-storey building, approximately 55 m long, was finally completed in 1857. The ground floor is occupied with service facilities while the other two floors have 18 monastic cells, guest rooms and a winter church.

In 1862, a beautiful stone fountain with four spouts, decorated with stone reliefs, was installed next to the church. Over the years, the monastery was a spiritual and religious centre, sheltering national revolutionaries like Vasil Levski and Nikola Obretenov, hiding here while organizing a revolutionary committee in Strupets. hieromonk Pantaleimon of the monastery also actively collaborated with the committee.

The monastery burned three times, and in 1972 almost the entire building was demolished. The restoration of its murals began in the 1980s and a new temple was built in the early 1990s.

Currently, the monastery is inhabited by a single nun, Magdalena, who calls on pilgrims to live in humility and reverence for scripture and the monastery abode.

Ways to get there:

The Strupets Monastery is located 4.5 km west of the village of Strupets and 21 km from Mezdra. A narrow asphalt road is going to it; parking places are available in front of the monastery.

Useful information:

If you would like to visit the monastery's church, you better call Nun Magdalena in advance at 0876 48 64 01. The monastery does not offer overnight accommodation and there is no restaurant nearby.

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