(DF) Five Oldest Bulgarian Monasteries to Be Restored with European Funds

December 26 (BTA) – Five of the oldest monasteries in Bulgaria, including the Bachkovo, Troyan, Kremikovtsi, Kilifarevo and Plakovo monasteries, which are declared cultural value monuments, as well as three churches, are expected to be restored with European funds with the aim of attracting more visitors and tourists, said the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW). The Bachkovo Monastery, which is the second largest Bulgarian monastery, is applying for EU funding with a project worth just over 1.2 million leva from Operational Programme “Regions for Growth” 2014-2020 and plans to renovate its campus, refine the area surrounding it and establish a tourist centre. A project concerning the Troyan Monastery is also under consideration. There is a need for restoration, conservation and repair works on the west wing of the monastery complex and the main church in it. The monastery was founded in the beginning of the 17th century by several Atonic hermit monks who brought with them the miraculous icon known as the “Virgin with Three Hands”. The list of monasteries in need of restoration includes the active convent near Kilifarevo (founded between 1348 – 1350) and the Plakovo Monastery near Veliko Turnovo, founded during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (12-14th century). At the end of November, a contract was signed to repair the Kremikovtsi Monastery on a Sofia Municipality project, the MRDPW recalls. A little over 9.5 million leva will be invested in the monastery, which dates from the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and has been declared a national cultural monument. At the end of November, funding was also approved for the conservation and restoration of the facade of the St.St. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral in Bourgas. Two more Orthodox churches are applying for renovation projects. These are the temples of St. Dimitar and St. Pantaleimon in the Vidin region. The Interreg Romania-Bulgaria 2014-2020 Programme is conducting restorations of the churches of St. Petka and St. George in Rousse. The renovation is part of the project “Christian Heritage in the Rousse-Giurgiu Cultural Corridor” and is worth over 3 million leva. Under the INTERREG-IPA Bulgaria-Macedonia Programme 2014-2020, over 440,000 leva were invested in the repair of the medieval St. Archangel Michael Church in Rila. Over 600,000 leva from the INTERREG-IPA Bulgaria-Serbia Programme 2014-2020 has been invested in the restoration and preservation of the ruins of the Church of the Holy Virgin in the village of Osikovitsa, Pravets Municipality. The church is dated to the 14th century. RI,RY/DT