St Mary Magdalena
The Buhovo monastery “Maria Magdalena” is situated about 3km to the northeast of the town of Buhovo close to Sofia, in the southern slopes of the Murgash mountain (the latter being a part of the Western Balkan mountain).
The monastery was most probably established in the 16th century. Later on, it was plundered and destroyed by bands of the so-called “Kurdjalii”. The monastery was reconstructed in two stages during the 19th century – first in 1855, and then – in 1882. An interesting moment in its history is the short stay of Prince Alexander Battenberg in 1886. On the 9th of August 1886 (according to the old calendar), the dethroned prince was taken to the monastery and spent two nights there. The monastery consists of a single-nave, one-apse church with a narthex, an old wooden bell-tower, as well as decaying residential and farm buildings. In the yard, one can see also a well, a fountain, as well as a shelter with tables and benches below it, which makes the monastery a preferred place for picnics by local men and citizens of Sofia. At present, the monastery is not inhabited by monks or nuns, while the church stays locked. As we were told, the church is being opened only on major religious holidays. Nevertheless, the monastery complex looks well kept, even if most buildings are obviously very old and in need of repairs.
Neither food nor accommodation is offered.
After one enters the town of Buhovo, he/she better asks about the right way to the monastery as there are no signs. Also, beware that there are two Buhovo monasteries, so make sure that you ask about “Maria Magdalena”. One has to take a left-hand road that starts from the town of Buhovo and leads straight to the monastery.