Albotin Monastery


  • Convent Monastery
  • Landmark Historical Place
  • Convent & Monastery
  • Landmark & Historical Place


Albotin Monastery is a presently inactive Bulgarian medieval cave monastery on the territory of Kula bishopric of Vidin Diocese of Bulgarian Orthodox Church, in the locality Albotin along river Topolovets between villages Gradets and Rabrovo, nearby village Deleyna.The monastery complex was built in the limestone rock massif on the northern side of the river, on some 25 metres height, using shallow natural caves and rock sheds, with additionally hewn premises and niches with religious and every-day purposes. The monastery is reached by a steep and narrow sandy pathway in the beginning of which was constructed a water tap, known as Haiduk cheshma. Being easily accessible, in later times the cave monastery was used by shepherds and stone-cutters as a shelter, and robbed and vandalized by treasure-hunters.Albotin monastery was active in the 14th century according to the account of the preserved fragments of frescoes and inscriptions, as well as adornments found in the 29 discovered Christian graves. The large number of burials of laity among the clergymen is an evidence that the monastery was a reputable sanctuary and a desired place for the eternal peace of its donors. Among the scarce historic records, it is noteworthy the mentioning of the nowadays non-existent village Altovin in a registry of Vidin kaaza from year 1560.The monastery complex consists of eight premises in a row, with the church located in the middle sector, in the most concave part of the rock massif curve. The church contains three naves and is oriented according to the canon from west to east, its southern and southwestern parts being fully devastated. The presence of a baptisterium bespeaks of the temple being used not only for monastic praying but also for public liturgies. In the north-western of the monastery, there is a second floor, containing the second largest premise of the monastery, which was presumably used for a refectory. In the western part of the monastery other cloiser premises were located: the monks cells, kitchen, cellar, store-rooms. Two water tanks can also be seen.


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