Cherepish monastery – a marble in northwestern Bulgaria

Открийте статията на български тук: Вековете история на Черепишкия манастир.

Bulgaria is very well known with it’s orthodox churches and monasteries and one of the most beautiful is the Cherepish monastery.

The place is 85 km – 100km. away from Sofia and the best way to get there is by car. You can rent one in Sofia, but stay away from TAXI service for such a long distance!
Here you can find the two routes in Google Maps

The route in Google Maps:

You have to take road E79 for Mezdra and take a left turn as soon as you get to the village of Rebarkovo. Drive for another 9km. on the main road and the monastery will be on your right, 500 meters away from the road.
After you get to there, you can park the car in front of the buildings.

History and interesting facts

The Cherepish monastery was built during the reign of Tsar Ivan Shishman (1371 – 1395). The legends say that monastery got it’s name from the white bones after Ivan Shishman’s battle with the Ottoman invaders in this region.

Cherepishki monastery - Ivan Shishman
Cherepish monastery – Ivan Shishman

In the 17th century, the building was restored as a literary cultural center from Pimen Zografski and the church that you can see now had been built.
In the years 1798-1799 Sofroniy Vratchanski finds shelter in the monastery and later the Lyutibrod revolutionary committee has been formed.

Cherepishki monastery - Enterance
Cherepish monastery – Enterance

Later (1889-1907) the Cherepish monastery had been visited by one of the most famous Bulgarian poets, Ivan Vazov and some of the events took place in his narrative “Edna Bulgarka” (One Bulgarian woman).
Another famous Bulgarian poet, Aleko Konstantinov, had also stopped by the monastery in the year 1897, and it was a part of the inspiration for making the travel history “Bulgarian Switzerland”.


The Cherepish monastery has few buildings inside it that represent the native Bulgarian architecture from the past, including the monastery church.

Cherepishki monastery - Architecture
Cherepish monastery – Architecture

I always admire the rooftops that can be seen in such places as they are made from solid rock plates that. One of the most interesting things inside the complex is the Tower on the top of the rocks. It’s a small building that can be visited by walking some really steep stairs but believe me, it’s worth it.
Inside it is the ossuary where the bones of Botev’s army, lead by Hristo Botev.

Cherepishki monastery - Tower
Cherepish monastery – Tower
Cherepishki monastery - Ossuary
Cherepish monastery – Ossuary
Cherepishki monastery - Ossuary
Cherepish monastery – Ossuary

At the moment you get out of the tower, you will be stunned by the view. In front of you will be the mountain and the river Iskar itself. It’s a great place for photography as you can capture such a beautiful landscape.

View from the tower
View from the tower

Further in the complex you will see the monastery itself, the Museum and the church graveyard. Right next to them is the well-known Aleko Konstantinov’s alley, where the poet used to have his coffee, admiring the nature and it’s beauty.

Aleko Konstantinov's alley
Aleko Konstantinov’s alley
Aleko Konstantinov's alley
Aleko Konstantinov’s alley


There are also some very nice places to visit near the Cherepish monastery.

The first is the rock phenomenon “Ritlite” in Lyutibrod. The best part is that it’s on your way to the monastery. If you have a drone, I highly suggest you using it for some really cools shots at the rocks, but if you don’t have, you can go outside the Lyutibrod and make some photos, if the weather is good.

The location is below:

The other place you can visit is in the city of Mezdra and it’s called Mezdra Kale (Archeological complex “Citadel”. It’s an old fortress, that has been guarding the mountain “Stara Planina”. There you’ll have great view at the city and river Iskar.

The location is below:

The third and most suggested option is to take the other road to Sofia (Cherepish monastery – Lakatnik – Svoge – Sofia) and to stop at the Lakatnik rocks to admire the beauty of the nature, river Iskar and again …. to take some photos.

The location is below:

On the way to Sofia, you can stop at “Bov station”, which is another rocky place where you can enjoy the nature and take a breath of fresh air.

The location is below:

If you have any questions, don’t mind emailing me 🙂
Camera used: Panasonic Lumix S1R


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