Dragalevtsi monastery “The Holy Mother of God” is one of the most beautiful temples in Bulgaria. It impresses its visitors with the astonishing nature which surrounds it, with its impressive size and magnificent façade.

The monastery is nestled in the slopes of the Vitosha Mountain, just a few kilometers away from Sofia’s neighborhood of Dragalevtsi.

The monastery is visited annually by a lot of Bulgarian tourists. With its old-fashioned façade, ample decoration and the silence and peace in which it is immersed, the monastery is a favourite place to visit or simply to spend some time in solitude.

Historical sources have it that the monastery was established in 1345 as ordered by tsar Ivan Alexander as a stauropegic monastery. Later on we can find evidence also in the “Gold-plated Certificate of Vitosha” of tsar Ivan Shishman. Gradually the monastery started expanding and flourishing and turned into one of the leading spiritual centres in the area.

Due to the support and the attention it would receive from the Bulgarian monarchs, it was dubbed “The Tsars’ Monastery”.

In 1382 the monastery complex was set on fire by Turkish troops and it was deserted. Years later, in 1476 Radoslav Mavar, a local boyar, undertook the difficult task to restore the previous grandeur and beauty of the monastery and to decorate the church. Today the monastery shows the donor’s portraits, those of his wife and their two sons – Nikola and Strahil. They are of high historic and art value.

In the 15th century the boyar managed to revive the monastery’s activity which promoted a lively literary and enlightenment activity. The monastery became known for the fact that in the Middle Ages that was the place where a lot of religious books were written and many other were copied and translated. In the 1930s the monastery church was expanded with a new naos. Nowadays the monastery is a nuns’ one and an asphalted road will take you there.