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Zemen Monastery (Земенски манастир)


Zemen Monastery is a medieval Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox monastery lost in the Bulgarian wilderness. It is located 3 km (2 mi) South- West of a town of Zemen, hence the name.



Location: 3 km (2 mi) Southwest of Zemen  Map

Tel. (077) 413 131

Open: 9am- 5:30pm Mon- Wed, Fri- Sun

Established: 11th century







Description of Zemen Monastery


Zemen Monastery is a Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox religious complex dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist. It was found in the 11th century by a small groupf of monks who settled the North- East slopes of Konyavska mountain in the beginning of the Zemen Gorge. Zemen Monastery stands 1 km South- East of the town of Zemen near Pernik on the left bank of the Struma river.


Zemen Monastery is modest in size. Its complex consists of a main church, a bell tower and two building that served as living quarters for the monks. The main church of the Zemen Monastery is the most remarkable part of the complex and is declared as a cultural monument. It dates back to the 11th century. it measures 9.2 meters in length, 8.7 meters in width  with a total height of 11.2 meters. Frescoes in the main church of Zemen Monastery date back to the 14th century. Unusual feature of the church is that besides saints and Biblical scenes it depicts portraits of medieval people who helped the Zemen Monastery financially or just by providing their manual labor on a site. Besides some of the stories that told in paintings reflect apocryphal or non- canonic interpretations of some of the events in the New Testament. It is currently a cultural museum in the possession of the government. No monks live in Zemen Monastery currently.










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