Tour to Medieval Melnik and Rozhen Monastery (Bulgaria)
This excursion is included in the programs of the following field schools and it is covered by the admission fee:
- The Birth of Europe - Excavations of the Neolithic Settlement Ilindentsi
The unique architecture of Melnik and the nearby Rozhen Monastery make it a popular tourist destination. The town is also associated with the impressive natural sand pyramids in various forms, resembling giant mushrooms, ancient towers and obelisks, spread in an area of 17 km² near Melnik, Kurlanovo and Rozhen. The town has also been famous for producing one of the best and strongest wines in Bulgaria.
Rozhen Monastery is the biggest monastery in the Pirin Mountains in southwestern Bulgaria. It is one of the few medieval Bulgarian monasteries well preserved until today. The earliest archaeological evidence of medieval life at the place is a grave with a few coins and decorations from the time of Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos (1259–1282). Some other items also date to the 13th century while the marble frieze above the central gate of the church dates to the 13th or 14th century. A couple of new buildings were constructed in the monastery at the time of Despot Alexius Slav. The earliest written source testifying to the monastery's existence is a note on a chant book from 1551, today in the Great Lavra library on Mount Athos.
The tour/price includes:
- An English speaking guide & travel assistant;
- Round trip transportation
- All expenses of the guide & travel assistant and the driver
- Travel insurance
- Entry to Krordopulov's House (1754) with optional wine tasting
- Sightseeing tours of Melnik's Downtown and a guided tour to the Rozhen Monastery