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Albotinski Monastery
Donka Popova

Albotinski Monastery

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20 kilometres west of Vidin, near the villages of Rabrovo and Topolovets, in the locality of Albotin, there’s a rocky ridge once used as a monastery. The Albotinski Monastery used to inhabit the natural caves and the facilities which were additionally dug out around 8 century. At this time there was also a settlement nearby but it followed the fate of the monastery – both were destroyed a few centuries later.

 

Today, despite the destructive force of the time, we can still see the remains of eight monastery premises. The temple was situated in the middle – the most hollowed out – part of the rocky ridge. It was a three-nave monastery which was used for monastic prayers and public worships. Monastic cells, dining room, cellar, monastery kitchen, storerooms, veranda and water tanks – these are the traces left of the spiritual and literary life that was once bubbling in this place. This life is evidenced by preserved parts of murals and inscriptions as well as by the finds in the 29 layman and cleric graves discovered nearby.

 

Today many believers come to the Albotinski Monastery in search of a cure. It is thought that all the sick people who spend the night by the spring under the monastery get better. According to an old tradition, on the second day of Easter people gather on the meadow near the monastery and take part in the “horo” dance in memory of the dead. This rite is particularly popular among the Vlachs and attracts folk dance troupes from Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania.

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