Osenovlashki Monastery St. Virgin

Once upon a time, in the heart of Bulgaria's Stara Planina, there was a mystical monastery - a spiritual shrine unlike any other. The Osenovlag Monastery, also known as the Seven Thrones, was a hope for the locals during the Ottoman rule. And with its fascinating history and fascinating legends, it is no surprise that it is now one of the most interesting monasteries in the country.

Time Travel: Uncovering the History of Osenovlach Monastery

The origins of this remarkable landmark date back to the 10-11th century, where it served as a refuge for Prince George, who took the monastic name Gavril. The monastery is said to have been founded by seven boyars who fled to the mountains with their families, founding seven villages near the site. But what really sets this place apart is its unique church, consisting of seven altars or thrones, each dedicated to a Bulgarian saint.

Although it was partially destroyed by fire, the Osenovlag monastery was rebuilt in 1815 and has since become a cultural center for the local residents. It even sheltered local rebels and chieftains during Ottoman rule. And during the Russian-Turkish war of 1770, the monastery was destroyed and all thirteen monks were killed. But after the signing of the peace agreement, the monks managed to restore it with the help of Dimitraki Hadjitoshev.

The miraculous icon and more: Exploring the miracles of the Osenovlach monastery

One of the most valuable treasures in the monastery is the miraculous icon of the Holy Virgin, which is said to have been brought from the Athos Monastery by Abbot Gabriel. He miraculously survived the Turkish invasion and the subsequent fire that destroyed a large part of the monastery. And with its strong walls and iron gates, the Osenovlach Monastery was not only a place of worship, but also a symbol of hope and resilience for the people of Bulgaria.

As you walk around the courtyard of the monastery, you will come across a memorial plaque commemorating the thirteen monks who lost their lives defending it. And if you listen closely, you might hear the clap that inspired Ivan Vazov's famous ballad "The Eyelid is Ringing." It is said to have been forged in 1799 with iron taken from the gates of the nearby medieval fortress of Caleto – a testament to the monastery's enduring strength and determination.

So, if you're ever in Bulgaria, don't miss out on going to the Osenovlach Monastery. It is a place where legends come alive and where past and present merge in a magical and unforgettable way.

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