LandmarksLandmarks in Albena

Aladzha monastery

The famous rock monastery of the Black Sea – Aladzha Monastery – is part of the many rock monasteries of monks from the 8-9 centuries. Located in a wooded area 14 km from Varna. In the Turkish language, “alaja” means “colorful” and hence the name of the monastery given to it because of the bright frescoes filled with color from the time of the early Middle Ages, which were found there. It is believed that the monastery is part of a large complex of more than 500 similar buildings. The creation of the monasteries in the rocks is connected with the spread of Christianity. They were used as shelters when there were attacks. The layout of the premises is organized on 2 levels in a 40 meter high limestone cliff. The church of the monastery is located to the west, on the first level, and was once painted with frescoes, of which only individual fragments have survived. The crypt is on the lowest level where there were three graves.

The monastery was abandoned after the beginning of the Ottoman yoke in the 14th century. However, Christians in the area continued to visit the site in the years that followed, as evidenced by an 18th century silver ring found in the crypt. In 1912, the monastery was registered as a national antiquities, and later in 1957 it was declared a cultural monument of national importance. Close to these sights in Albena, if you continue south towards the sea capital of Bulgaria, you will find an even bigger number of natural and cultural attractions worth seeing here.

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