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.
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.
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.