The Holy Spirit monastery, also known as the Godech monastery, is situated close to the Bulgarian-Serbian border, to the northwest of Sofia. It lies in the western end of the town of Godech, about 100m. away from the road connecting Godech to the town of Dragoman.
The exact date when the monastery was first built is not known but it is believed that the valley of the Nishava river has been home to many churches and monasteries ever since the Middle Ages. According to archeological findings, the Godech region was a big religious centre and a part of the wider “small Sveta Gora” (as the area around Sofia is called due to the large number of monasteries there) during the Second Bulgarian State and the early years of Ottoman rule. The present-day monastery is built over the ruins of two churches, discovered by an old woman, Bona Velinova from the village of Grigorovo. According to the story told by local people, Bona Velinova was gifted by God to find the ruins of more than 100 forgotten churches and monasteries. In 1920, she came to Godech and wished to show the local people a place where she believed that ruins of monasteries can be dug. She was, however, chased away by the local priest, Andrey, who was later punished by God with the deaths of his two children that same year. In 1921, Bona came back to Godech and this time she was followed by the locals to a cornfield where she showed a place with her stick and urged the crowd to dig. The story goes on by saying that some 70m. below the surface the people found the foundations of a medieval church. A few footsteps to the southeast, the old woman showed another place where remains of a second church were dug. She mentioned then that there were remains of a third temple in the vicinity, too, but somebody else was to find it later on. The Holy Spirit church is the older and bigger one. The Sveti Sedmochislenitsi church, dedicated to St. Cyril, Methodius and their 5 disciples, was built of bricks during 1951-1952 and has a traditional iconostasis, the icons of which were painted by Mileti Bozhinov in 1951. Currently, the monastery is kept by a secular person, Flora Nakova, who has been here since 1983 after she widowed. During 1995-1996, a two-storey residential building with 5 rooms and a spacious dining hall was built with the help of donations and with proceeds from the sale of candles. A brick wall around the monastery was also constructed at that time. The Monastery is in need of donations for painting the churches walls. Contact for potential donors: +359 896 352523
The monastery offers accommodation in cozy rooms for a limited number of people; food is not on the offer, though.
The monastery is easy to reach by car from Sofia, by following the main road to the towns of Montana and Lom that passes through the town of Kostinbrod. After passing through the village of Buchin Prohod, one has to take a right-hand intersection that leads to Godech after 8km.
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