The Monasteries in Bulgaria - Bulgarian Orthodox Monastery Guide!


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Batoshevo Monastery

The Monastery of Batoshevo was founded in the 13th century under the reign of King Mikhail Asen. It is located in the hearth of Balkan Range mountain, near the village of Batoshevo. The monastery had been burned to ashes during the Ottoman slavery. Years of abandonment had followed. In 1831 its restoration had began and new wings with monastic cells had been built up. However, in 1876 the monastery has been burned down again having been a constant hiding place of one of the leaders of the Bulgarian organized revolutionary activity - Angel Kanchev. After the liberation the monastery has been fully restored.


The Batoshevo monastery lies several kilometers above the village of Batoshevo, which in turn is situated some 10km to the south of the town of Sevlievo, on the bank of the Rositsa river.


According to a marble stone inscription exhibited in the Batoshevo village's museum, the monastery was established in the year 1250 during the rule of Tzar Michail Assen. The monastery was destroyed with the fall of the Bulgarian state under Ottoman rule. In 1809, a monk from the town of Troyan, Isay, came as a hermit to this place. One day the monk heard the story of a herdswoman who one evening, while seeking for lost cattle, saw a mother and a child sitting over a stone and crying for being left forgotten and homeless. The monk found the herdwoman and interpreted her vision as the request of God's Mother to have a monastery rebuilt in this place. Isay built a small cottage close to the stone, hang an icon inside and started living here as a hermit. Isay also started traveling often to Sevlievo and Batoshevo and telling the story of the herdswoman to the local people, trying to raise money for a new monastery.

Unfortunately, Isay was not able to finish his deed as he was forced out of his place. In 1831, however, during a plague epidemic, many citizens of Sevlievo left their homes and fled to the Balkan mountain. The people then took a vow to build a monastery in the place of the old Batoshevo monastery if they survive the epidemic. And so it happened. It took four years to collect all the needed documents and raise money. Construction started in 1836 with donations from Gabrovo tradesmen, Sevlievo craftsmen and other rich Bulgarians. The first father superior of the new monastery is Hadzhi Makarii from the town of Troyan. The monastery became quickly a renowned religious school and even the famous Bacho Kiro Petrov spent two years in studies here.

As many other monasteries the Batoshevo one also took an active part in revolutionary activity against the Turkish rulers. Famous revolutionaries such as Mitkaloto, Angel Kunchev, Peshev, Karagyozov came often to the monastery and organized secret meetings behind its walls. During the April Uprising in 1876, the monastery was set on fire by Turkish troops, but thanks to a sudden rain, the church was saved from the fire. The father superior at that time, David, was sent to prison and tortured there, while a monk of the monastery, Hristofor, joined a rebel group. Priest Kalinik was tortured to death while the rest of the monks hardly escaped. The monastery was again rebuilt though the new residential part has 2 floors in contrast to the earlier three.

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