The Karanvurbovski monastery “St. Marina” is situated in a picturesque area about 53km away from the town of Rousse and some 23km to the southeast of the town of Dve Mogili.
The existence of the Karavurbovski monastery can be divided into three periods. The first monastery was established during the Second Bulgarian State, when worship of St. Marina increased across the country. The monastery was rising in a woody area, covered with oak, elm, lime, walnut and ash trees. According to legends, the cells of 49 monks were scattered around the church. The temple was richly decorated with stone cornices and carved walnut wood, while its walls were covered with multicoloured friezes. However, after Bulgaria fell under Turkish rule, the monastery was abandoned, while its properties inherited by the Turkish rulers of the region. According to a legend, the restoration of the monastery was achieved thanks to a blind Turkish girl that washed its face with water, springing out of the place where the former monastery had been. As a token of his gratitude, the father of the girl, who owned the land plot where the miracle-working spring was found, granted the plot to the local Christian population, bespeaking that a place to accommodate those sick who come in search of a cure for their diseases was built. Soon after, local people managed to get permission by the Turkish authorities to build a small church, which marked the establishment of the second “St. Marina” monastery. The exact year in which the church was constructed is not clear; it is known only that this happened during the rule of prince Bogoridi, i.e. between 1828 and 1859. Monk cells were gradually built, too. The origin of the third monastery can be traced to 1890, when Italian masters constructed its church. Cells were built in 1891, too, and reached the number of 20. It is not known exactly when the holy spring that runs out in the middle of the present-day church was formed as a well, surrounded by an iron railing. In 1984, the water from the holy spring was piped out in the monastery yard. With the help of an electricity pump, the water was channeled towards four spouts for the ease of visiting pilgrims. It was then when the well was formed as a glass-covered octagon. A bit earlier, in 1940, the Dorostol and the Cherven metropolitan churches built the monastery church, the dining hall, a cellar and a bathroom. Unfortunately, in 1948, 1961 and 1970 all properties of the monastery were taken away by the socialist authorities. After Bulgaria’s liberation from Turkish rule, “St. Marina” hosted summer camps for schoolchildren each year. After September 9, 1944, the monastery arranged camps for pioneers and ‘Comsomol” members. Since 1993, the youth colony at the monastery has been restored. In 1965, the monastery was officially declared a nunnery. At present, it is inhabited by four old-age nuns, with the abbess being named after St. Marina. The church holiday is marked on the 17th of July. According to different sources, water from the holy spring has helped cure blindness, dumb people, kidney problems, etc.
Food is not offered, but small groups of people can be accommodated at the monastery. Currently, a new residential building for guests is being built, too.
The “St Marina” monastery can be reached down a 3km asphalt road that starts from the village of Karan Vurbovka and follows the current of the Cherni Lom river.
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