October 24, 2017

3177 BULGARIA (Ruse) - Basarbovo Monastery

Basarbovo Monastery (the Monastery of Saint Dimitar Basarbowski) - is a Bulgarian-orthodox cave monastery situated in the picturesque valley of the Roussenski Lom River, at 10km from Ruse, in north-eastern Bulgaria. It was established during the period of the Bulgarian-Wallachian Empire, but its name was mentioned for the first time in a Turkish tax register in 1431. Saint Dimitar Basarbovski was born in 1685 in the nearby village of Basarbovo, but he has spent whole his life in the monastery.

After he has died, the monk Dimitar was buried in church of the village, but during the Russo-Turkish war (1768-1774) his remains were taken to Bucharest, back then the capital of Wallachia, which is only 80 km away. At present, they are still kept there, in Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral, and since 1950 is the patron saint of Bucharest. The monk Hrisant settled in the monastery in 1937 and he began to renovate it. The same year a chapel was built, but it survived only until 1940 when it was destroyed by a flood.

A green path, which leads believers to the monastery, passes through a beautiful green inner yard and ends at a well which was dug by the monk Dimitar. Two rooms and a cave used for a dining room, both built in 1956, are situated in the lower part of the rocks. In order to reach the place where according to the legend, the saint slept, must to climb 48 stairs. To the right, visitors can visit the rock church with a unique wood-carved iconostasis, made in 1941.

A large icon of the saint on which he is depicted at full height is surrounded by 10 scenes of life with inscriptions in Romanian (with Cyrillic letters) and Greek. Other stone stairs lead to a natural cave in which the monk Hrisant was buried. Now the cave is a bone-vault which hosts a museum exhibition. Later, the cave sheltered the bones of other deceased monks of the monastery. Some years ago, the bones were buried in the monastery's graveyard, while the bone-vault currently hosts a museum exhibition.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series Mushrooms, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the serie Moths, about which I wrote here.

Basarbovo Monastery "St. Dimitrii of Basarbovo" - Bulgaria Monasteries

Sender: Dragoş Diaconu
Sent from Ruse (Ruse / Bulgaria) on 06.10.2017

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