Places of interest
Troyan Monastery

The Troyan Monastery is the third largest monastery in Bulgaria after Rila Monastery and the Monastery of Batchkovo. It is situated along the banks of Cherni Osam river near Oreshak, a village 10 km from Troyan, and a popular tourist destination.

Founded in late 16th century, it was badly damaged by several Turkish raids during the 17th and 18th centuries and much of it was rebuilt during the 1830s. The monastery is famous for its wood decoration, the highest quality hand-made wood carving by masters from Tryavna. The revered Three-Handed Holy Virgin icon is its most precious possession. It is unveiled only during the Assumption celebrations on 15th August. According to the legend, the icon was donated by a monk, who stayed with the hermit from Troyan for a short period during his journey from Mount Athos to Wallahia. The church of the Holy Virgin , which houses the icon, was built in 1835 with murals by master artist Zahari Zograf though many of the murals are difficult to see because of the soot deposits from the votive candles.

Besides its religious role, the monastery is famous for its great writers, teachers and translators, including historians such as the monk Spirodon, author of the second book for the Bulgarian history (1792). It was also linked to the Bulgarians struggle against the Ottoman oppression. Similarly to other monasteries, the Troyan one also hosted the notable Bulgarian revolutionist, Vasil Levski. During the Russo-Turkish Liberation war, the monastery was transformed into a hospital for Russian soldiers and gave Russian forces all possible assistance. Here the visitors can taste the famous plum brandy brewed according to the monasterys ancient recipes.