Botevgrad (Zelin) Monastery
The Nativity of Mother of God
The Zelin Monastery “The Nativity of Mother of God”, also known as Botevgrad or Orhanie monastery, is situated in the resort area of Zelin near the town of Botevgrad, some 2.5km to the southeast of the town. The monastery is one of few Bulgarian monasteries that lie in the field and not in the mountains.
It is believed that the Zelin monastery was established in the 14th c. It was restored in 1926 and at present it functions as a monks’ cloister. The monastery complex consists of a church and several small residential buildings. The church was erected in 1926 and consecrated in the same year by the Branitski Bishop Maxim (incumbent Patriarch Maxim). It represents a small, one-nave, one-apse building with a narthex and a humble bell-tower. The church lacks inside decoration in the form of frescoes but has a beautiful iconostasis. On a marble plate just next to the entrance of the church one can read that once the village of Zelin was situated in this area but in the late 18th c. its inhabitants moved to a newly established village that gradually grew into Orhanie and present-day Botevgrad.
Neither food nor accommodation is offered.
The monastery can be reached down an asphalt road to the Zelin area that should be taken from the center of Botevgrad in southern direction. Signs are not to be found so it is recommended that local people are asked for the right way.