The Maglizh monastery “St. Nikola” is situated some 2km to the north of the town of Maglizh, in the slopes of the Balkan mountain. It is located some 33km away from the town of Stara Zagora and about 13km to the east of the town of Kazanlak.
Legends connect the establishment of the Maglizh monastery to the name of the Bulgarian tsar Kaloyan, who led the country between 1197 and 1207. The tsar granted funds for the construction of the monastery in 1197 after he won a victory over Byzantine troops in the area of Maglizh with the help of local people. After Bulgaria was invaded by Ottoman troops in the 14th c. the monastery was repeatedly plundered, set on fire and restored. The cloister fell into the biggest misfortune on the 13th of January, 1623, when the Turkish commander Sklav, who was sent by the ruling sultan Mehmed II, took away 8013 Bulgarian boys to be trained for Turkish soldiers (so-called enichars) and then plundered the monastery and slaughtered hieromonk Gervasii and three monks. Information on the Maglizh monastery from that period can be also found in the notes of the German traveler Gerlah, who visited the place in the 16th c. and remained impressed with its religious school. In 1834 the father superior of the monastery, hieromonk Pamflii from the town of Pazardzhik, started the construction of the present-day church. Construction works were finished by father superior archimandrite Kalitnik from Muglizh. In 1835 the father superior of the Plakovo monastery near Veliko Turnovo – hieromonk Sergii - was sent into exile to the Maglizh monastery for his participation in Velcho’s Plot. Shortly afterwards, Sergii died of his wounds in the monastery. In 1866-1870 father superior of the Maglizh cloister was the priest-revolutionary Hariton, who later became famous for his participation in the Dryanovo uprising in 1876. Between 1873 and Bulgaria’s Liberation from Ottoman rule in 1878, the monastery was headed once again by archimandrite Kalitnik, who witnessed how withdrawing Turks plundered and set on fire the monastery. Since 1922, the monastery has operated as a nunnery. At present, it is functioning and is being kept by several nuns.
The monastery offers accommodation to a limited number of guests but booking beforehand is recommended. The rooms are modest and do not have own WC/bathrooms.
The monastery can be reached down a good asphalt road from the town of Maglizh. It is recommendable to ask for the direction to the monastery once in the town of Maglizh.
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