Glozhene Monastery – St George the Victorious

Glozhene Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox Monastery located on the northern slopes of Stara Planina Mountain, near the village of Glozhene, 12 km of Tetvene. It is built right on top of a mount and resembles a castle when viewed from a distance. According to the legend, the Glozhene Monastery was built in the 13th century (1224), after settling in the area of the Ukrainian Duke Georgi Glozh upon the approval of the Bulgarian King Ivan Asen II. The Duke Glozh founded a monastery carrying the name St George, whose icon he had brought with himself. According to the legend, shortly after the establishment of the monastery, the icon repeatedly disappeared from the cloister, only to be found later on a hill not far away from the village where currently lays the present-day monastery. Those inexplicable disappearances of the icon were interpreted by the monks as a god’s sign that the monastery had to be moved to the hills, which they eventually did in the end of the 14th century.

For a short period of time, the two monasteries existed and functioned in parallel, connected by an underground tunnel. This underground shortcut was used more than once by the Apostle of Freedom, Vassil Levski as an escape route while fleeing from the Ottoman persecutors. Unfortunately, the tunnel was filled up and became unusable after an earthquake in 1928. The monastery church erected after the creation of the monastery in the 14th century was beautifully decorated with wall paintings, which unfortunately existed only until 1913 when an earthquake ruined completely the church. The present-day church was built in 1951 in the place of the preceding one and represents a relatively narrow but a high building. The complex of the Glozhene Monastery offers accommodation to its visitors.