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Arbanassi tourist info and hotels


Arbanassi is a village situated 3km away from Veliko Turnovo. Between the 16th and 18th century (when the village was tragically devastated) it was among the wealthiest in Bulgaria. Its architecture was skillful, unusual and richly decorated.
Arbanassi has two monasteries – St. Nikola and Holy Virgin. The St. Nikola monastery was built during the Assen dynasty (the founders of the Second Bulgarian State), when the religion was flourishing. The most attractive thing about it is the still-existing wall decorations in the St. Elija Chapel, dating back to the year 1716. The decorations are of great historical and artistic value and they represent Christ and scenes from his life, the Great Archangel and scenes from the Holy Akathistos. It still can be noticed that the decorator was a great master – the scenes are still lively and colourful, with superb architecture and amazing diversity. Another treasure is the filigree wooden iconostasis in the chapel.


The other monastery – Holy Virgin – is also of great importance. It was attacked in 1393, and some of its decorations miraculously survived the tragedy. They show the skillfulness and mastery of the Tryavna School, which left many precious icons behind. Austere houses that resemble minor fortresses on the outside with high, solid walls and heavy gates, iron grids and secret hiding-places. However, they are spacious and comfortable, richly decorated and furnished on the inside. The oldest of Arbanassi's 5 churches is The Birth of Christ (1637 - 1649), dug into the ground without a belfry and with hidden cupolas, but hiding a genuine art gallery with over 3500 absolutely realistic figures and Biblical scenes, painted by unknown artists throughout the ages.



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