In English: The Holy Trinity monastery, also known as the Patriarch’s monastery, lies about 10km away from the ancient town and ex-Bulgarian capital, Veliko Turnovo. The monastery has been built high above the town in an extraordinarily beautiful area, huddling at the foot of a vertical rocky massif.
The first sanctuary in the vicinity dates back to 1070. Later on, in 1368 a hermit, Teodosii of Turnovo, moved to a small cave formed in the rocky massif above the present-day monastery. As other monks started arriving here to seek spiritual advice from or just talk to Teodosii, the place was gradually transformed into a true community of monks. Soon afterwards, the future Patriarch Evtimii also joined the cloister and promptly became famous for his abilities in the first literary school in Bulgaria, established by the monks there. As Teodosii grew older, he gradually transferred his everyday tasks of running the monastery to Evtimii. Thus, after the sudden death of Teodossi in Tsarigrad (present-day Istanbul) during an oecumenical council, Evtimii became naturally father superior of the monastery.
The monastery was supported by the authorities in the face of Ivan Alexander and Ivan Shishman who used to come to the cloister to talk to Teodosii and often provided financial support and food for the monks. At the end of the 14th century when the state was invaded by Ottoman troops, the then-Patriarch Evtimii was entrusted with gold by Ivan Shishman to buy out the capital if needed, while the tzar himself led his troops to the borders. Unfortunately, neither the Patriarch nor the tzar was able to save the country from falling under Ottoman domination. While the 300 monks of the monastery were slaughtered by the Ottomans, Patriarch Evtimii together with other high-ranked officials of Turnovo were lined up and forced to either convert to Islam or die. When the turn of Evtimii to make his choice came, the Patriarch declined to convert and was sentenced to death. The verdict was not executed though as the hand of the executioner froze in the air and could not move. This was taken by the Turks as a holy sign and the Patriarch was sent in exile instead.
Shortly before the liberation from the Ottoman domination the monastery was restored with the famous master, Kolyo Fitcheto, having his contribution. The master rebuilt the church in 1848 while another famous artist of that time, Zahari Zograf, painted its frescoes. Unfortunately, an earthquake ruined the church and other buildings of the monastery in 1913. The design of the reconstructed church, kept till present days, is different from Kolyo Fitcheto’s one as it has domes, banned for Orthodox churches during Ottoman times.
The monastery was a male one until 1946 when the first women came here, initially living in the staples and cattle-sheds. The current mother superior arrived in 1948 and is currently 84 years old. Due to her and the other nuns’ efforts, the monastery has grown in the past few decades. The oldest buildings that are still functioning date back to 1948, while the church in its present-day design is about 10 years old and is still being painted inside.
In Bulgarian: Manastirat “Sveta Troitsa”, izvesten oshte i kato Patriarsheski manastir, e razpolozhen na okolo 10 km. ot antichnata krepost Tsarevets i starata balgarska stolitsa Veliko Tarnovo. Namira se v prekrasna mestnost, v podnozhieto na nepristapni skali.
Parvata obitel v rayona datira ot 1070 g. Prez 1368 g. otshelnikat Teodosiy Tarnovski se otteglya v malka peshtera v skalnia masiv nad dneshnia manastir. Sled kato drugi monasi zapochvat da priizhdat tarseyki duheven savet ili prosto razgovor s Teodosiy, myastoto postepenno se prevrashta v istinska monasheska obshtnost. Skoro sled tova, badeshtiyat Patriarh Evtimiy sashto se prisaedinyava kam obshtnostta i barzo stava izvesten sas svoite sposobnosti v parvoto knizhovno uchilishte, sazdadeno ot monasite tam. S ostaryavaneto si Teodosiy postepenno prehvarlya na Evtimiy deynostta si po upravlenieto na manastira. Taka savsem estestveno Evtimiy stava igumen na “Sveta Troitsa” sled vnezapnata smart na Teodosiy Tarnovski.
Po onova vreme obitelta se izdarzha ot vlastta v litseto na Ivan Aleksandar i Ivan Shishman, koito sa poseshtavali manastira za razgovori s Teodosiy i chesto sa okazvali finansova pomosht i sa ostavyali hrana za monasite. V kraya na 14-ti v., kogato darzhavata e zavladyana ot osmanskite voyski, badeshtiyat Patriarh Evtimiy poluchava zlato ot Ivan Shishman, s koeto da otkupi stolitsata pri nuzhda, dokato samiyat tsar voyuva na granitsite sreshtu nashestvenitsite. Za sazhalenie, nikoy ot dvamata ne uspyava da spasi stranata i stolitsata ot padaneto pod osmansko vladichestvo. Evtimiy zaedno s drugi vidni zhiteli na Tarnovo sa prinudeni da priemat Islyama ili da umrat, dokato pred pogleda im bivat izkoleni 300-te monasi ot manastira. Kogato idva momenta za izbora na Patriarha, toy otkazva da si smeni vyarata i e osaden na smart. Vse pak prisadata ne e izpalnena – spored predanieto rakata na palacha zamrazva vav vazduha i ostava nepodvizhna. Tova se priema ot turtsite kato sveshten znak i zatova Evtimiy e praten v izgnanie.
Malko predi osvobozhdenieto ot osmansko igo manastira e vazstanoven s pomoshtta na izvstnia maystor Kolyo Ficheto. Toy izdiga tsarkvata, sled koeto drug izvesten maystor – Zahari Zograf – ya izografisva. Za sazhalenie, zemetresenieto prez 1913 g. razrushava hrama i drugite sgradi. Dizayna na rekonstruiranata sled tova i zapazena do dnes tsarkva e razlichen ot tozi na Kolyo Ficheto, tay kato sadarzha kupoli, zabraneni za pravoslavnite tsarkvi po vreme na robstvoto.
Manastirat e mazhki do 1946 g., kogato idvat parvite zheni – v nachaloto te zhiveyat v selskostopanskite sgradi. Nastoyashtata igumenka pristiga prez 1948 g. i po nastoyashtem e na 84-godishna vazrast. Blagodarenie na neynite i na drugite monahini usilia, manastira protsaftyava prez poslednite desetiletia. Nay-starite vse oshte funktsionirashti sgradi sa ot 1948 g., a tsarkvata v segashnia si vid e na 10 godini i vse oshte se izpisva otvatre.