Monastery complex “St. Ioan Predtecha”


The monastery complex “St. Ioan Predtecha” is a Bulgarian Orthodox monastery located on the right bank of the river Arda in the town of Kardzhali (Veselcane district). It was part of the Medieval Episcopal Complex “St. Ioan Prodrom”.
It was founded in the VI – VII century. From archaeological excavations it is known that there are four successively built churches. They have a typical Byzantine style and a strong Attonic influence. The monastery was the spiritual center of one of the great medieval dioceses – Ahridos. The ruins of the monastery were discovered in the 1930s by local lovers of the past. For many years the remains have not been investigated until 1962, when other parts of the monastery buildings were discovered. The complete archaeological survey was carried out between 1980 and 1984. The restoration took place from 1998 to 2000.
The historical information and the preserved remains of the buildings give grounds to assert that it had become at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century at the bishopric, and later at the metropolitan site. This is evidenced by the unique finds found in the temple and around it – five masonry tombs. One of the tombs in the church was hermetically sealed. After careful opening, the relics of a senior Christian cleric from the end of the XI and the beginning of the 12th century were discovered.
In the tomb there is still a fully preserved epitrahill (church cloth), a gold-plated and unusual decoration, as well as in a canvas cross sewn church relics. Only 4 locations in the world have such findings preserved. This confirms that during the Middle Ages, today’s Kardzhali was an important Christian center. It is considered to be extremely expensive and manufactured in Constantinople. In 2000 the sanctuary of the monastery was restored. Because of the high artistic and architectural value the remains of the medieval monastery and the church “St. Ioan Prodrom” are declared monuments of culture of national importance in State Gazette. A large part of the finds found during the study of the monastery can be seen in the Regional History Museum in Kardzhali.

Accommodation in Kardzhali

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