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Vratsa, Vratschanski Balkan Nature Park, Ledenika Cave
Gabrovo, Etura, Bojenci, Sokol's Monastery
Montana, Berkovitsa, Varshets, Chiprovtsi
Botevgrad, Etropole, Skravena
Troyan, Monastery in Troyan, Cherni Osum, Oreshak
Central Balkan National Park, Peak Botev
Shipka National Park-Museum

The Iskar's gorge is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt places in Bulgaria. It is situated in West Stara Planina where the Iskar River cut through the mountains and forms a narrow rocky gap. Starting from the Sofia valley. The slopes of the gorge are steep, almost impassable. Until a century ago the place was almost inaccessible and unknown, but in 1889 was built the railway line, new settlements, built and road.

Iskar Gorge is an exceptionally beautiful scenery, especially while traveling by train from Sofia. On the road one can see wonderful sights as Katinas pyramids, Lakatnik rocks and karst formations. Settlements in the area are the starting point for many mountain routes. The largest city is Svoge. Near the village Zasele is one of the most beautiful and largest waterfalls in the country Skaklya.

Hotels in Region

The Cherepish monastery "Holy the Assumption" is 30 km from Vratsa, in the unique Iskar’s gorge. Near the Cherepish monastery everyone can go by car from Sofia on the road to Mezdra. It was built in the time of Tsar Ivan Shishman (1371-1391), later it was destroyed by the Turkish. In the end of XVI c it was reconstructed by St. Pimen from Sofia. The monastery became an educated centre.

From 1792 are the relics Cherepish Gospel, which was enclosed in golden bookcovers and decorated with biblical scenes. In 1797 here was found a shelter St. Sofroni from Vratsa. Here were took a lot of school hours a priestly school, pastoral theologian institution and the Sofia’s ecclesiastical seminary. A big impression make the picturesque buildings, most of which are built in 1836.

The church “St. Georges” is preserved its original aspect from 1612. Part of the wall-paintings are from XIX c. One of the landmarks of the is the iconostas with the exquisite wood-carving and shroud, which was made in 1844. The ossuary is a building over a steep rock.

Nativity of Mary Monastery (Seven Altars) is situated in a very beautiful place over the river, near the village Osenovlag on the road Sofia-Mezdra. It was created during the Second Bulgarian kingdom. Nearby was a Roman fortress, which today is the gate of the monastery. The creation of a monastery and a legend that "Seven Altars" is founded on 7 boyars in the XI century, hence its name. In 1737 Sultan Mahmud "Godless" ordered the destruction of many monasteries and churches, and "Seven Altars" was leveled to the ground. After the Russo-Turkish war in 1769 was reconstructed and returned to life by two brothers monks.

Seven Altars is surrounded by high stone wall, and the church is located in the middle of the yard. The complex also has a belfry and two perpendicular buildings. The belfry has two bells from 1799. The small garden is impressive, with many flowers, shrubs and old trees, one of which is the redwood of more than a century.

The church is unique with seven separate altar, which has no equivalent in another Bulgarian church. The four main altar form a cross. The other two altar is reached through the small chapel at 2 entrances. The latter, 7th altar is against the entrance of the church. Each represents a separate chapel of the saint, its own murals and iconostasis. It is believed that the miraculous icon temple was brought from Athon in the establishment of the monastery. Massive chandelier is exquisite woodcarvings and paintings of religious subjects. All paintings in the church are more than one hundred years.

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