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Maglizh monastery keeps the memory of Levski alive

Close to the town of Maglizh, tucked away amidst the slopes of the Balkan Range rises the St. Nicholas monastery of Maglizh. It is thought to have been founded at the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1393). After Bulgaria fell to the Ottomans in the 14th century, the monastery was plundered and pillaged numerous times but every time the local population restored it. Construction of the monastery church now in existence started in 1834. The monastery complex comprises a single-nave church, residential and farming buildings, as well as two chapels dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, and to St. Archangel Michael. There also existed a monastery school.

Historical records show that during his travels around Bulgaria Vassil Levski stayed at Maglizh monastery twice, together with another revolutionary, priest Hariton, the first time in 1869, researchers say. Much like Levski’s other hideouts, the one in Maglizh monastery had two entrances, one of them secret so that Levski could make his escape at any time. Interestingly, it is hidden under the bed, inside a cupboard connected to a tunnel that led out into the forest. In our day the tunnel is sealed.

In 2017 the cell used by Vassil Levski was restored by a group of artists and artisans from Maglizh, with the idea of restoring the authentic look of the place and preserving a piece of Bulgaria’s history. In our day Levski’s cell has been turned into a museum, and is part of Maglizh monastery attracting visitors from the country and abroad.

Find out more about the cloister from Radio Bulgaria’s Maglizh monastery’s past is cloaked in mystery

More about the Apostle of Freedom:

Compiled by Veneta Nikolova

Photos: Facebook/ St. Nicholas monastery of Maglizh, dolap.bg
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