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Kuklen monastery Bulgaria
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Kuklen monastery
VIEWS 1997
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Kuklen monastery

The Kuklen monastery St.Kozma and Damyan

Orthodox name: Sr. St. Kozma and Damyan. Near monasteries: Bachkovo Monastery

The Kuklen monastery St.Kozma and Damyan (aka St.Vrachove) is located in Chernatitsa part of the northern Rhodope mountain. It is situated about 3 km south-western of the town of Kuklen, 8km north-western of town of Asenovgrad and 15 km south of city of Plovdiv. The monastery was founded during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and is famous since the time of Tsar Ivan Alexander, because of its rich literary school and its cultural influence.

The Kuklen monastery is named after the holy brothers Kosma and Damian, who were famous healers and were able to cure all kinds of diseases, including insanity, using the healing waters of the holy spring in the monastery.

Among the most valuable attractions of the monastery are the holy spring (it is believed that its water is healing and helps nervous system and mental illness), the old mural in the church, the library, which has preserved valuable manuscripts and books, and more.

Kuklen monastery is operating and has been proclaimed a national monument of culture.

The monastery was established during the Second Bulgarian State. It is mentioned in an 11th century title of ownership of the Bachkovo monastery. The monastery emerged around a spring of curable waters and was named after the saint brothers Kozma and Damyan for their being known as medicine men. The monastery has traditionally been visited by sick people, and particularly by mentally sick persons, who are believed to get better after spending a night in its premises. One of the two churches in the complex, dedicated to St. St Kozma and Damyan, still has a pair of chains in the anteroom. Mentally sick men used to be chained to the floor in the past. At present, it is believed that if a sick person holds the chains for a while or puts them over a sick part of her/his body, he/she will be cured. When Bulgarias lands were taken over by the Ottoman Empire, the monasterys role as a place where sick people came in hope of being healed increased. The Turkish authorities protected the monastery, as it took medical care including of local Turkish rulers families. The monastery was protected from robbers, including with the help of Turkish soldiers sent from Provdiv when needed. During 1657, when a lot of monasteries in the Rhodopi mountains were destroyed, monks flocked to. St Kozma and Damyan.

During the 17th century, the monastery was a centre of letters, with it hosting authors such as Krustyo Gramatik and abbot Avram Dimitriev. Financially, the monastery was enjoying the support particularly of the Plovdiv association of producers of abba (a type of woolen cloth). Currently the monastery is operational and open to visitors. It has two churches - one dedicated to St. St. Kozma and Damyan, built in the 15th century, and another one named. St. Annunciation., built in the 50es of the 20th century. The monastery complex includes farming and residential buildings, as well as a big holy spring nearby. The. St. St. Kozma and Damyan. church is 22m-long and 8m-wide cross-shaped building with no domes. During the wave of forced conversion of Bulgarias population to Islam, the monastery was set on fire more than once, but its unique wall-paintings survived. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the monastery was run by Greek monks who covered the churchs original frescoes with new paintings and put Greek inscriptions on them. Following a restoration of the churchs frescoes in more recent times, both layers of paintings were restored and can now be seen. The monastery is declared a monument of culture. Its official holiday is marked each year on the 29th of June, Peters Day, when celebrations usually continue for 3 days. The icon of St. St. Kozma and Damyan, believed to be miracle-working, is taken out of the church then, too.

Every year on St. Peters, June 29 - Celebration of the monastery and the town of Kuklen, the meadows around Kuklen Monastery St. St. Cosmas and Damian big fair is organized. He continued for three days and hundreds of believers from the city and Bulgaria have flocked to celebrate the holiday. The monastery has a few bright dates solemnly celebrated - these are 1 July and 1 November, when the honors of St. Cosmas and Damian. Of the patron saints day on 1 July each year tradition of the catholic church, miraculous healing icon of St. Cosmas and Damian, and it made a procession.

Kuklen monastery, which is currently active female temple is popular here with curative spring - the holy spring. In the words of the faithful, life-giving water of St. Damian and St. Cosmas gives strength to the souls and bodies healed those who come to the source of their faith and draw water for any healing. It cleans dirt of all diseases. Another peculiarity of Kuklen Monastery are iron chains located in the narthex of the monastery church. According to popular belief, even today if a sick person holds the chains for some time or have them touch the affected area will heal. One time the chains were 12 in number - now there is only one.

Theses for the emergence of the cloister are several. What is certain is that in the fetus, he was taken by the people as a sacred place. Not coincidentally named Sts Cosmas and Damian, for their curative powers. First monastery is mentioned in the XI century in one document for the properties of Bachkovo. According to some researchers, spiritual sanctuary was built by Georgian brothers Gregory and Abasii Bakuriani - founders of Bachkovo monastery. The most common argument is that Kuklen monastery was founded during the Second Bulgarian Empire (XII-XIV centuries) around healing springs - known for their properties and the ancient Thracians who had lived in our land. During the reign of Tsar Ivan Alexander (1341-1371 years) monastery became an important literary school with its strong cultural influence. In the following centuries Kuklen Monastery continues to actively educational activities. Curious is the fact that the monastery remains intact despite the destruction to the bases of the 33 monasteries and 218 churches between Kostenetz and Stanimaka (today Asenovgrad ) during muslims. Even in Turkish times life in the convent is not fading and the Renaissance there was even open a school.

To reach Kuklen Monastery St. St. Cosmas and Damian, use the exit from the city Kuklen - driving down the main street of the village of Plovdiv has the right signs. The road from the village to the monastery was completely renovated by the European Union and is now in perfect condition.

Kuklen monastery has a bed capacity of 50 people. Rooms have 3-4 or more beds and have a private bathroom. The monastery does not offer food, but there is room and allows for cooking. Front of the monastery restaurant.