19th-century frescoes restored at Bulgaria’s famous Rila Monastery

Rila, Bulgaria, August 31, 2021

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Over the summer, the restoration of the frescoes of the left kliros in the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God at Rila Monastery was successfully completed.

The restoration work lasted almost two years, reports Dobrotoluibie.

Rila is the most important monastery in Bulgaria, home to the relics of Bulgaria’s Heavenly protector, St. John of Rila, who labored in the 9th-10th centuries. The 1,075th anniversary of his repose was celebrated earlier this month.

The frescoes, depicting scenes from various feasts of the Lord, warrior martyrs, and prophets, were painted by Dimitar Zograf in 1884. He and his brother Zahari are the preeminent representatives of the famous Samokov School of iconography.

The Samokov style was founded by Hristo Dimitrov from Samokov, who was trained on Mt. Athos. He taught his sons Dimitar and Zahari, the latter being the most famous Samokov iconographer.

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