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Etropole Monastery Bulgaria
Etropole Monastery
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Etropole Monastery

The Etropole Monastery of the Holy Trinity

The Etropole Monastery of the Holy Trinity, also known as Varovitets, is a Bulgarian Orthodox monastery near the town of Etropole in west-central Bulgaria

The Etropolski Monastery St. Trinity is located about 6 kilometers east of the town Etropole. It is believed to be founded in the 12th century AD. The monastery is a complex of a church, residential buildings and farm buildings. The church was built in 1859 AD. The complex includes two chapels – St. John the Baptist and St. Kozma and St. Damyan. In the 16th – 17th century, the monastery used to be the greatest spiritual center in northern Bulgaria. The Varovitets karst spring, which forms a beautiful waterfall, is located near the monastery.
The monastery was declared a cultural monument. The memorial day of the monastery is Pentecost (The day of the Holy Trinity).

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity, also known as Varovitets, stands on a travertine rock massif in the northern slopes of Cherni Vrah Peak, at 5 km east of the town of Etropole. In 1858, the old church was ruined and today’s cruciform three-naved church was built on the same spot. Two stone slabs were embedded in the foundations of the new church (1858), which is a vivid evidence that the monastery was founded in the 17th century. The monastery celebrates its holiday on Pentecost, the feast of the Holy Trinity, on the fiftieth day after Easter.

The Etropole monastery played an important part in the historical and cultural development of Bulgaria. In the 19th century the abbot of the monastery Hrisant took an active part in the National Liberation Movement against the Ottoman rulers. Several times Abbot Hrisant provided shelter to the national hero Vasil Levski in the monastery. Today the hiding place of Levski in the monastery is still a holy spot for the people of Etropole. Etropole Literary School was founded in the Holy Trinity Monastery in the 16th -17th century. It was the first of its kind in Bulgaria at that time. The town and the monastery turned into the biggest literary and educational centre in all Bulgarian lands north of Stara Planina Mountain. Тhis enlightening activity is evidenced by 76 manuscripts discovered so far, as the oldest one among them is The Four Gospels written in 1595.

Etropole Literary School was created owing to the enthusiasm and talent of dozens of bookmen, the material and moral help, which they received from the wealthy townsmen of Etropole, donors and numerous visitors from all over Bulgaria. The manuscripts of Etropole were made by dozens of Bulgarians - grammarians, decorators, bookbinders. During the Ottoman oppression, when Bulgarian people were deprived of independent political and spiritual authority, the Literary School contributed to the preservation of the Bulgarian nationality and language. Primarily liturgical books were re-written here, e.g. The Four Gospels, The Menaion, breviaries, triodions, missals, etc. in response to the growing demand at that time.