Cherepish Monastery

History links the name of Sophronius of Vratsa, a renowned Bulgarian saint, with the Cherepish Monastery. Like all other Bulgarian monasteries, this one also rises above a river – the Iskar. The Cherepish Monastery is located near the village of Ljutibrod, 10 km away from the town of Mezdra and 25 km to the south of Vratsa.

Present day church of the Cherepish Monastery was built in the 17th century by renown Bulgarian Pimen Zograf of Sofia. During the period of Bulgarian Revival, the Cherepish Monastery was inhabited by men of letters and calligraphers who have left valuable works and literary masterpieces. Thus, the monastery gradually has become an important literary, cultural and educational center. Over the centuries, men of letters, translators and calligraphers made their home in the Cherepish monastery. Those have left us with such valuable works as the Cherepish Gospel of the 16th century, bound in 1512 with gold cover and depicting scriptural scenes; the Gospel of the Monk Danail, Jacob’s Book of Apostles (both dating from the 17th century), and the Margarit collection of sermons and precepts compiled by Priest Todor of Vratsa in 1762. The approximate date of the Cherepish monastery’s establishment is certified in wilting: a deed recorded between 1390 and 1396 is kept today at Sofia’s Church Historical and Archaeological Museum. Some of the murals in the old Cherepish church were probably painted around the mid 19th century by Tryavna artists, but these are now badly damaged. The loss is somewhat compensated for by the skilfully carved iconostasis and bishop’s throne.

The Cherepish Monastery offers food and accommodation. The monastery’s dining hall, the so-called magernitsa, is open to guests and offers traditional monastery meals and Bulgarian cuisine.