Kapinovo Monastery

The church of the Kapinovo Monastery, situated at the foothills of beautiful Elena ridge of the Balkan Mountain – Stara Planina Mountain, about 18 km away from Veliko Trnovo, features an inscription of the year of its foundation on the cornice above the altar: 1272, under Constantine the Quiet’s rule. According to the legends, the Kapinovo Monastery was established by Tsar Ivan Assen II. During the period of the Second Bulgarian State, St Nicholas Monastery became an important religious center. With the fall of Turnovo under the Ottoman rule, the Kapinovo Monastery was set on fire and destroyed. It was no earlier than the late 17th century when countrymen from the surrounding villages managed to get the Turkish authorities’ approval for its reconstruction.
The most recent renewal of the Kapinovo Monastery dates to the early 19th century. The present-day church of Kapinovo Monastery was built in 1835, while in 1864, two patriotic brothers from the town of Elena donated a substantial sum of money for the construction of new residential buildings for the monastery’s monks. The Kapinovo Monastery played an important role during the Bulgarian Renaissance period. In 1830, it started to host a literary school while in 1860, it helped in the organization of the Hadzhi Stavri rebellion. The Kapinovo Monastery also took part in the preparations for the April Uprising. Massive wooden gates and steep stone stairs lead to the monastery yard and the monastery church, which rises in its center. The church of Kapinovo Monastery hosts a rich collection of icons, including one of the Holy Virgin, most likely painted by Pope Vitan, and iconography works from the nearby Plakovo Monastery.