Novo Selo Monastery
The Novo Selo monastery “Holy Trinity” is situated close to the center of the Novo Selo quarter of the town of Apriltsi.
The monastery was established in 1830 as a family monastery. First inhabitants of the monastery were 40 nuns from nearby villages. In 1831, the first printed edition of the Rila monastery was brought here, too. During the April Uprising against Turkish rule in 1876, the Novo Selo Republic existed no less than nine days, after which it was ruthlessly suppressed. Almost the entire area of the present-day town of Apriltsi (then the villages of Vidima, Ostrets, Novo Selo and Zla Reka) as well as the Novo Selo monastery were burnt to ashes by the Turkish troops. Most of the nuns, together with priest Georgi Hristov, who led the defence of the monastery, were slaughtered, while the church was plundered and set on fire. After Bulgaria’s liberation from Turkish rule, the monastery and the chapel were restored with the help of volunteers’ labour and donations by people from nearby villages. The chapel behind the church was transformed into a small museum that still keeps the bones of those killed. At present, the monastery consists of a richly painted, one-dome church, “Holy Trinity”, a chapel dedicated to St. Ivan of Rila, residential and farm buildings. The Novo Selo monastery is being kept by the municipality and is open to visitors, even if it is not inhabited by religious people. It does not have in-house hosts either, even if the buildings and the yard look rather well kept. Visitors can buy candles in the church and souvenirs (i.e. painted ceramic vessels) from a table close to the entrance by merely leaving the needed cash. Citizens of Apriltsi often come over to the nearby meadows for picnics. Musical performances are being organized here, too. When required, a priest visits the monastery and performs Orthodox rituals.
Although the monastery does not have permanent hosts, travelers who would like to spend the night at it can be put up at former nuns’ cells. The doors of the monastery are open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Novo Selo monastery “Holy Trinity” lies within walking distance (just a few minutes) from the center of the Novo Selo quarter of Apriltsi (the main stop for buses running between Sofia and Apriltsi). An asphalt road leads to the monastery, too.