Sokolski Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God
Donka Popova

Sokolski Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God


The name of the monastery is related to the locality it is situated in. His founder – archimandrite Joseph who in the distant 1833 built a small wooden structure near the entrance of the neighbouring Sokola Cave – later became known as Joseph Sokolsky – after the name of the locality. A year later, thanks to the people from the neighbouring towns and villages, a big temple was built and sanctified to remain to this day.


During the Revival the monastery functioned as an educational and cultural centre. It housed a religious school where enlightener Neofit Bozveli taught as well as a national liberation war centre. In the 50s of 19 century the Captain Dyado Nikola’s division settled here and during the April Uprising it was right here where the Gabrovo division led by Tsanko Dyustabanov was formed. Vasil Levski – the Apostle of Freedom – also took shelter in the monastery many times. Rich history, antique relics preserved to this day…


Today the monastery is fully functioning and served by women only. The imposing temple attracts the eye with its architecture and murals. The building is a beautiful single-nave, single-apse and single-dome basilica with a wide yard. The murals dating from the 60s of 19 century and made by priest Pavel and his son Nikola Popovich from the village of Shipka are remarkable with their bright colours. Among the preserved antique relics some icons, made by Zahary Zograf – painter of the Samokov Painting School, gain prominence.


Tireless, the visitor’s eyes will pause at the well-preserved white-stone fountain with eight spouts shaped like falcons situated in the monastery yard. It was built in 1865 by the great master Kolyo Ficheto.


A tourist trail passes by the monastery, zigzagging through a beautiful forest area and leading to the Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex. The route is comparatively easy and takes about two hours. The town of Gabrovo is about 12 kilometres away.


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