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Photographer's Note

View of Rila Monastery and Rila Mountains in background.

The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, better known as the Rila Monastery is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is situated in the southwestern Rila Mountains.

Founded in the 10th century, the Rila Monastery is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and is a key tourist attraction. In 2008 alone, it attracted 900,000 visitors.


Rila is a the highest mountain range of Bulgaria and the Balkans, with its highest peak being Musala at 2,925 m. The massif is also the sixth highest mountain in Europe (when each mountain is represented by its highest peak only), coming after the Caucasus, the Alps, Sierra Nevada, the Pyrenees and Mount Etna, and the highest between the Alps and the Caucasus. More than one-third of the mountain is occupied by the Rila National Park, the rest lies within the Rila Monastery Nature Park.

Rila is abundant in glacial lakes (about 200) and hot springs in fault areas at the base of the mountain. Some of the Balkans' longest and deepest rivers originate from Rila, including Maritsa, Iskar and Mesta - from Wikipeia

Unique photo - there is always a lot of tourists there!

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Additional Photos by Piotr FG (PiotrF) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 5816 W: 2 N: 11601] (54088)
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