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The Monastery Gradeshki “Saint John the Baptist”, VratsaCod 2765


The Monastery Gradeshnitsa is situated in the proximity of the village Gradeshnitsa at 36 kilometers from the city Montana and 38 kilometers from the city Vrața.

The transportation:

The road to the Monastery Gradeshki is easily accessible by car from the village Gradeshnitsa.

The monastery’s history:

The appearance of the monastery “Saint John the Baptist” is connected with the citadel which existed until the beginning of the 11th century and the medieval village and its necropolis survived until the 14th century. At the end of the 16th century the Wallachian Commander Michael the Brave, assisted by the Transylvanian Prince Sigmund Bathory and by the Moldavian Prince Aaron, passed the Danube and defeating the Turkish army conquered the cities Târgoviște, Tutrakan Ruschuk, Svishtov, Nikopol, Pleven, Vratsa and others, arriving in the Balkan Mountains. During the military operations there were destroyed over 2.000 villages, including the monastery Gradeshki. There aren’t any information about the history of the monastery Gradeshki throughout the following two centuries, but from the beginning of the 19th century. The monastery was re-conditioned. At that time, the monastery was the spiritual and cultural center from the region and accommodated the school.

The architecture and the current state:

In our days, the monastery Gradeshki functions, but it doesn’t have any monks. The complex is formed by the interior monastery which is surrounded by the courtyard, with four big stone walls and two small courtyards. The residential buildings with two floors were built in 1865, and these are connected in the corner of the second floor, with a small chapel “Saint Ivan Rilski”. In 1972, the buildings, the churches and the chapels were renovated and re-constructed.

The church from the monastery Gradeshki was built in 1861 and the basilica has a fronton roof which ends with a stone border with three steps. The today’s church is built on the foundation of an old temple, about which they talk the stone pieces from the construction with primitive images of the crucifixion of Jesus, with the dove and the angel. The altar is separated by the nave with the iconostasis sculpted in wood, with icons and Jesus Christ, Saint Mary and the Child, Saint Prophet and John the Baptist, and the Archdeacon Steven. In the center of the iconostasis there are medallions sculpted in baso-relief of the composition of vegetal and animal motives. In the period 1998 – 2000, the church was re-conditioned.

At the second floor of the building in the monastery Gradeshki there was built the chapel “Saint Ivan Rilski”, opened in 1865. This is organized in three parts: a spacious narthex, a big nave and an altar. Its walls aren’t painted, and the ceiling is arched and plates with wooden panels. The nave is separated from the altar, with sculptures and richly decorated iconostasis, formed from three areas.



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