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Klisura Monastery “St. Cyril and Methodius”, 4 km of Barzia VillageCod 2160

Klisura monastery “St. Cyril and Methodius”, also known as Vreshtitski is located in a scenic area on the western part of the mountain, at the foot of the Teddy Dolls mountain, near the resort Vrsac. The Sofia Monastery can be reached most easily using the road from the city through Petrohan Pass in Montana. About 3 km after the town of Speedy it goes then to the town of Varshetz. After five kilometers you reach the road to the monastery. The entire route is asphalt, there are signs. Klisura Monastery supposedly was already founded in the thirteenth century, at the conquest of the Vidin kingdom by the Turks at the end of XIVth. century. It remained untouched, but not for long, after that it was burned and devastated, then followed centuries of desolation. Only in 1742 the monastery was restored by residents of the village in the immediate vicinity (today Klissura). Then later in 1789, at the command of Ömer Pasha, nephew of Osman Pazvatoglu-Berkovitsa, the monastery was destroyed again. After a while, at the initiative of the six monks and again with donations from the surrounding villages, it was restored.
Chronicles tell about a day at St. Cyril and Methodius in 1862, which was celebrated with joy and songs at the height of the celebration and the monastery was full of people (men, women and children), Yusuf Bey Pasha came in Berkovitsa. All people were killed (over one hundred twenty), and the monks were burned alive in the ruins. Several years later, in this day came only the relatives of the dead. Has occurred another raising from the ashes in 1867. A major role in this recovery played the last Archimandrite, Antim Damyanov, the first abbot of a new history. Until his death in 1922, after 55 years, Archimandrite Antim builds the Klisura monastery. In 1869 he built the monastery’s kitchen, and then the chapel “St. Nicholas” and Ayazmoto. Between 1887 and 1890was built the church “St. Apostles Cyril and Methodius”. Another prominent donor for the monastery was Ilia Stoyanov. The renovated monastery has about a dozen abbots-figures of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Since the first decades of the twentieth century was the residence of the Diocese of Vidin monastery. Nowadays Klisura monastery is active and includes two churches, houses (Renaissance style) agricultural buildings and its own farm. The Catholic church “St. Cyril and Methodius” has a ship, an apse, a building with a cruciform dome. It has an outdoor porch, on both sides of which are located towers. The iconostasis is the work of the sculptors craftsmen and their families, Stoycho Fandakova and Filipovtsi Debar and the icons were painted by Nikola Avram Obrazopisov and Dichov in the years 1890 to 1891 and in 1937. It was painted by famous Bulgarian artists Mr. Zheliazkov and prof. Georgi Bogdanov.
A few years ago, in the Klisura monastery was built the new church, much lower, “St. Nicholas” in place of the old church.
Precincts of the monastery contains many relics – old icons, books, plates and others, of which the most valuable are the relics of the saints.
In 2000, in the spring of the holy year of the monastery, was opened the fountain called “The living water” that comes from Mount Todorini dolls. Spring water is low in minerals and is considered curative.
Since May 2007, in the Klisura monastery settled, also 6 bulgarian nuns from Vardar, Macedonia. They painted icons for churches in different parts of the country for this purpose. Each year, the leadership of the monastery organized camps of Orthodox organizations for children across the country. In 2009 the Klisura monastery is included in the “Beautiful Bulgaria” and since then has been significantly improved and landscaped. Today, the monastery has the status of a monastic settlement.

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