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Arapovski Monastery

A cache by Kreo_74 & Evgenin Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/16/2010
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

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Geocache Description:

Arapovski Monastery


Arapovski Monastery was founded in the middle of 19th century in close proximity to a holy spring. It is believed that its founders were the archimandrites Sophronii and Gerasim. 

Arapovski Monastery is the only one monastery in Bulgaria which was constructed in the region during the Ottoman slavery.

The monastery used to be a center of Bulgarian national spirit in the fights against the Greek and the Turkish influences. Therefore, the holy cloister has special historical value since a local secret revolutionary committee was founded here. It was led by the monastery abbot father Gevrasii.

A school for priests was opened in the monastery in 1868. 

During the period of April Uprising the mother of famous Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov and her children dwelled in the monastery. During the Russian-Turkish war of Liberation (1877-1878), Dryanovo cloister had been conflagrated by the Turkish troops, but subsequently it was restored.

At present, the monastery is fully operational. 

The monastery complex was built by Rhodopes masters from the village of Yugovo, led by Stoyan Uzunov (Gudevski).

The main church “St.Nedelya” was built in 1859. It represents an impressive three-domical building, with a nave and 2 aisles, with a cupola and a narthex. 

The altar’s iconostasis in the temple and four small iconostasis at the columns were masterpieces created by the famous painter Stoyan Uzunov. 

Wall-paintings in the church were made in 1864 by the painters Georgi Danchov and Alexii Atanassov. 

More than 150 scenes are painted in the frescoes of the church. Besides the traditional evangelic scenes, here we discover unique scenes depicting the life of the monastery’s patron, St. Nedelya, as well as John the Baptist and St.Paraskeva. 

An earthquake destroyed the church in 1928 and its murals, which later on were renovated.

The life and work of the saint brothers, Cyril and Methodius, can be revealed here for the first time in Bulgaria’s monumental painting. One of the most valuable icons of the monastery is the one of the Holy Mother that is considered to be miracle-working. It can be seen to the right of the southern entrance. It is painted so that its sight always follows the worshipers.

Outside the monastery’s walls, not far away from the northern gate of the monastery, is situated the holy spring. The first chapel of the monastery that is still preserved was built around it. The chapel was painted in 1870 by Georgi Danchov.

The fountain in it is one of the most interesting monastery stone fountains. Its front side is made of five big stone blocks: one as a cornice, two on the sideways and two forming the body structure of the fountain with figures and pictures in relief.

The monastery is distinctive with its great diversity, impressive architecture and mixture of styles. 

However, the most interesting building in Arapovski Monastery is the unique residential tower, built by Angel Voivoda, one of the most famous defenders in this region during the Ottoman oppression.

The tower is rectangular and it had been used both as a watchtower and a residential building. The first two floors are made of stone and have narrow windows that served as loop-holes. The third floor represents a residential part of a wooden frame-built construction with strongly-outgoing bays. There are four rooms here which are currently rented to visitors of the monastery.


Араповският манастир е постоянно действащ. Главната църква "Св.Неделя" е изградена през 1859г. и представлява трикорабна, триконхална сграда с купол и притвор. Олтарният иконостас в храма и четирите малки иконостаси при колоните са творение на майстора Стоян Узунов. Стенописите в църквата са от 1864г. и са дело на зографите Георги Данчов и Алексий Атанасов. Освен традиционните евангелски сюжети, тук намираме сцени с житията на патрона на манастира Св. Неделя, на родоначалника на монашеството Св. Йоан Кръстител и на особено почитаната в този район Св. Парскева. Представени са още сцени от живота на българския светец Иван Рилски и на славянските просветители Кирил и Методий. Силно земетресение през 1928г. повредило църквата и стенописите, които са възстановени по- късно. През 1930г. Николай Евров възстановява купола на църквата.

Извън манастирския комплекс, недалеч от северната порта се намира аязмото. Около него през 1870г. е построен параклис, който също е изографисан от Георги Данчов.

Най-оригиналната постройка в Араповския манастир е кулата-крепост, която е издигната по инициатива на Ангел войвода – един от най-известните хайдути от този край. Кулата е правоъгълна и е използвана за наблюдателница и жилищна постройка. Първите два етажа са каменни с тесни прозорчета, приспособени за бойници. Третият етаж представлява жилищната част с дървено-паянтова конструкция и силно издадени еркери. Тук има 4 стаи, които се отдават под наем на посетители на манастира.

Манастирските сгради в Араповския манастир са били построени в два етапа. Първоначално към 1856 - 1859г. бил издигнат един П-образен в план корпус, обграждащ църквата от изток, запад и север. Днес от него е оцеляла само западната двуетажна страна с монашески килии. По-късно в югозападния ъгъл на двора било пристроено второ Р-образно крило със самостоятелен вход. служещо за гостоприемница. То е било възстановено през 1935г., след сериозни повреди от земетресението от 1928г. Няколко други допълнителни пристроявания и надстройки са превърнали двете крила в живописно раздвижен ансамбъл.



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