The Basarbovski rock monastery is a testament to the unwavering faith and dedication of Bulgarian Hesychast monks who carved their chapels and cells into the limestone rocks. Located near Ruse, Bulgaria, the monastery has functioned over the centuries and is the only active rock monastery in the modern territory of Bulgaria.
The rock monastery was part of a large monastic Hesychast complex in the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (ХII – ХIV century). These monks lived in austere and ascetic conditions and stayed in constant prayer, deprivation, and silence to see Christ in His true light. The rock monastery was dedicated to St. Theodore Tiron and St. Theodore Stratilatus. Queen Theodora founded it – the first wife of King Joan Alexander and daughter of the Wallachian Duke Ivanko Basarab.
After the Ottoman invasion, the rock cells and churches were deserted. The holy monastery was mentioned in the life of St. Sophronius Bulgarian and St. Dimitrii Basarbovski, the only known saint from the Ruse region, who lived in the Basarbovo monastery in the 17th century. St. Dimitrii became the spiritual shepherd of the village of Basarbovo, and his relics were discovered miraculously in the Rusenski Lom River.
On July 10, 1774, the relics of St. Dimitri Basarbovsky were brought to Russia after a clause in the Russo-Turkish peace treaty gave Russia the right to patronize Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire. Today, the monastery stands as a symbol of spiritual strength and dedication to God.
The history of the Basarbovski rock monastery is inspiring and reminds us of the power of faith and devotion. It is a place that exudes an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, making it an ideal destination for those seeking spiritual solace.