The well-preserved Bachkovo Monastery is tucked into the hillside of Asenovgrad alongside the scenic Chepelare River. It’s the perfect destination for travelers looking for a natural escape from Plovdiv or Sofia. Its peaceful beauty and quiet spaces for reflection have drawn visitors to its gates since it was built in 1083.
The monastery grounds include an original ossuary, decorated with ancient frescos and a home to a first floor burial crypt; a cathedral, which houses a statue of the Virgin Mary Eleusa and attracts pilgrims to pray her feet; the Archangels’ Church covered in paintings by Joan Mosch; and an expansive garden tended by monks who still live and work on the monastery today. The small but impressive museum at Bachkovo has an extensive collection of religious artifacts, wood carvings and old-school frescos that’s worth checking out.