Ivanovo Rock Churches – city of Ruse

The rock monastery “St. Archangel Michael ”is located 22 km from the town of Rousse, near the village of Ivanovo, within the Natural Park” Rusenski Lom “. An asphalt road with signposts leads to the complex, and there is a car park at the foot of the cliffs. A system of steps in the rocks gives visitors access to the various churches and chapels in the area.
The monastery was founded in the 1920s by the monk Joachim, who later became the Bulgarian patriarch. The Bulgarian kings John Assen II (1218-1241), John Alexander (1331-1371) and other representatives of the royal court were among the donors of the monastery, and to this day their founder’s portraits are preserved.
The monastery unites several complexes of rock rooms. In six of the temples are preserved frescoes that reveal the peculiarities of Bulgarian church art in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. During the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (XII-XIV centuries) the monastery was established as a major spiritual and literary center. Inscriptions on the walls of the cells provide information about important historical events.
The frescoes in the church “St. Mother of God ”are world famous. They are among the most representative examples of Paleological art in the Balkans. Their exceptional artistic qualities are the reason for their inclusion by UNESCO in the World Heritage List.
In the 14th century the monastery became the center of hesychasm – a mystical current in Orthodox Christianity. The Ivanovo rock complex also existed in the early centuries of Ottoman rule, but gradually declined.
St. John’s Rock Churches in 1965 have been declared a museum reserve, and since 1997. have the status of a National Archaeological Reserve. Today the monastery is not functioning.
The complex sells information materials and souvenirs.

Virtual map