Apocalypse Wow! Judgement day frescoes at the Rila Monastery – Bulgaria

The Rila Monastery in Bulgaria is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and perhaps the most well known structure in the country. When you enter the monastery it just looks like an old fort and it doesn’t prepare you for the view that is inside.

Rila Monastery - Bulgaria

The monastery is famous for its frescoes by Bulgarian artist Zahari Zograf. The external porch walls of the main church is covered in colourful religious imagery.

Much of the subject matter is of apocalyptic last judgement images. Bat-winged demons and gruesome death scenes are prominent. There are so many little details, so spending some time looking over every detail of each panel reveals some pretty bizarre interpretations of what the apocalypse would look like.

Rila Monastery frescoes

Rila Monastery frescoes

Rila Monastery frescoes

Rila Monastery frescoes

Rila Monastery frescoes

Rila Monastery frescoes

Rila Monastery frescoes

The Rila Monastery is an easy day trip from Sofia. There are tours that go there but the cheapest way is to get a local bus which will take you straight there in 2 and a half hours.





Comments

  1. The entire Rila Monastery was a surprise. The museum was small, but excellent. The people were friendly, and the fry bread behind the monastery was a hoot. I hope you are having an great time.

  2. Nice, looks like a great trip.

  3. my god FANTASTIC, love those black and white striped arches
    and well.. the sawed off bits… pretty great !!
    I guess the monks who lived there had a lot to contemplate.

  4. Beautiful photographs!
    I never thought that Zograf was so interested in the Judgment Day Subject. It turns out most of those sweet faces are actually in great trouble.

  5. Beautiful photographs!
    I never thought that Zograf was so interested in the Judgment Day Subject. It turns out most of those sweet faces are actually in great trouble.

  6. I loved the Rila monastery and what it even better for me was the complete surprise of it. We went through Bulgaria on the way to Turkey on our motorcycles and we ended up going south because of the rain. We decided to check out the monastery out of interest and fell in love. The entire south of Bulgaria was amazing, and we ended up staying a week instead of just passing through.

  7. I loved the Rila monastery and what it even better for me was the complete surprise of it. We went through Bulgaria on the way to Turkey on our motorcycles and we ended up going south because of the rain. We decided to check out the monastery out of interest and fell in love. The entire south of Bulgaria was amazing, and we ended up staying a week instead of just passing through.

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