Aladzha Monastery

Aladzha Monastery is an early Middle Ages Orthodox Christian cave church in northeastern Bulgaria, 17 km north of Varna and 3 km west of Golden Sands beach resort, in a protected forest area adjacent to the Golden Sands Nature Park and resort. The Aladzha monastery caves and monk sanctuaries are hew into a 25-meters high vertical karst cliff on several levels connected via an external staircase near the upper edge of the Franga plateau.

The Aladzha monastic complex also includes two small nearby catacombs, some 700 meters west of the monastery. The discovered artifacts and finds – pottery, coins and other graffiti. testify that “Catacombs” of Aladzha were inhabited in the early Christian era (4-6 centuries). According to some historians, monks built their simple cells and inhabited them as early as the 4th century. Under the influence of ‘isichasm’ – Hesychasm, closely connected with the personality of the Saint Gregory Palamas, the holy rock sanctuaries experienced its heyday during the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. The life in Aladzha Monastery declined when Bulgaria fell under Ottoman Rule. The name of Aladzha monastery comes from the Turkish word for colorful (“aladzha”) due most probably to the bright colors of its wall paintings. Experience of visiting the Aladzha rock Monastery dug high above the ground into a steep rock is unforgettable. Aladzha Monastery was declared a national monument of culture and antiquity.