Some time ago we wrote an article about the majestic Rila Monastery in Bulgaria. But now we want to give some clues to the secret corners of this monastery, because of its size or the rush they sometimes have organized tours, They fail to meet most of the tourists visiting this monastery and yet worth not miss them.


Rincones de el Monasterio de Rila de Bulgaria

Corners of the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria


First we started recommending the kitchens of the Monastery, Rila Monastery has several museums, the main one is the Museum which tells the history of the monastery and where the famous cross hand carved wooden miniatures of the Bible, There is also a Museum of Orthodox icons and there is a third Museum, Kitchens Museum, many tourists do not visit and is near the north entrance of the Monastery.


Entrado Norte al Monasterio de Rila

North entered the Monastery of Rila (with warning not allowed to dress in suspenders and shorts). On the right is the entrance of the Museum of Kitchens…

Unfortunately only open in the summer months when there is more influx of passengers or on special occasions. As with many other tourist sites in Bulgaria, the truth is that it has no fixed opening hours and open is lucky to find him, Unlike the others 2 yes museums open all year. However unless you are passionate about icons or ancient history of the monastery, Kitchens Museum is much more “easy” to see and can become more interesting than the other two. Not only shows the impressive and enormous utensils used by the ancient cooks to feed those living in the monastery in ancient times but there are also farm implements, forest and other curious old tools. An advice: Do not leave the last room where the great cauldron is without casting eyes to the ceiling, you'll get a surprise so curious form…


Ladle found in the Museum of Kitchens, former and current photo, (imagine how the cauldron…).


Second. Another secret place is the medieval tower 1343, its location is certainly no secret since the tower can be seen upon entering the courtyard of the Monastery of Rila, but what you may not know is that you can also climb it, similarly as in the case of the Museum of the Kitchen, no fixed schedule, depends on the day I found my open or not, Come when you go and if you see a person on a table, It is that it is open to cash receipt entry, if there's no one, bad luck… The views from the tower are unequaled, the mountains surrounding the monastery as close look as if they could touch, You will see the snowy summit, rocky peaks and the areas most “low” lush forests. I notice that the terrace can not climb, but all this can also be seen from the windows of the top floor of the tower. The climb is by internal staircase, a bit tired but well worth it, plants between flights of stairs there are explanations of the history of the tower and some interesting artifacts that you do not want to reveal to you to discover for yourself and let you rest between one plant and the next…


Medieval Tower 1343. In its façade facing the church is the entrance to inside.


Third: Old Cemetery, out through the north gate, there is a path to the right that leads to the river, which incidentally does not drop much people and you lose it, It has water all year round and its incessant flow generates a spectacular noise. Following this path parallel to the river you can be reached in a few 10 minutes to a small church in whose courtyard is the old cemetery with huge tombstones, some more than 1,80 meters high. There are buried “popes” or more prominent priests in the history of Rila Monastery . It is a quaint and curious place like old horror film. Also sometimes it finds other open closed, but if you find it closed at least enjoy the ride along the river that very few people do…


Bakery building (North exit of the Monastery)


Quarter: Monastery Bakery, outside the main campus, out through the north gate, directly opposite the first building you see some Bulgarians queuing in front of a small window, Inside is the bakery that is famous throughout Bulgaria and therefore should always Bulgarians in the queue. They say it is where they produce the best places and the best traditions “mekítsi” de Bulgaria. The “mekítsi” a round shape and are crushed with a similar churros and batons mass know in Spain, there throw them powdered sugar above and are also very rich for breakfast or snack… You can go to the window and ask hand 2,3,4 “mekítsi”, or how many you want…, best eaten at the same time there also is a coffee machine…


Bulgarian Mekítsi


Fifth and finally we recommend visiting La Cueva Ivan Rilski, the founder of the monastery in the tenth century, when they came to live in this cave alone and ate fish from the river and what he found in the woods, after some followers joined him and his disciples founded the Monastery. Quiet, this cave itself is open all year, but it is some distance from the Monastery, must follow the road up into the mountains around 5 minute drive (more walk) and when one of the curves you find a sign with the symbol of an Orthodox icon is the point to enter walk in the forest along a narrow path, Beautiful in any season but in spring and autumn is even more beautiful.


Road to the cave through Ivan Rila National Park Rila

Lovely way to the cave Ivan of Rila


after a few 20 minute walk through the lush forest of oaks and acacias reach a small church built in honor of Ivan Rilski and on your right is the entrance to the cave. It is a small cave but why just shudder to think that someone came to live there… Anecdotally you will not forget about going out through the top opening of the cave, It is narrow and it is said that only the pure of soul can go through it…


Entrance to the cave Ivan Rilski

To the right of the church is the entrance to the cave Ivan Rilski (Juan de Rila).

If you want more information Rila Monastery in Bulgaria or many other secret places that we visited the country, contact us and hire one of our tour packages, then you discover secret places of Bulgaria that other agencies do not want to show….

You know any of these places “secrets” Rila Monastery ?, Leave us a comment below if you visited…

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