Erasmus+ Programme
Strategic Partnership Project Nr: 2018-1-RO01-KA204 – 049274

Pilgrim path "St. John of Rila"

 For more than 10 years, the pilgrim path “The Rila Wonder Worker” has been held annually from Sofia to the Rila Monastery, which follows the path of transporting the relics of St. John of Rila from Sofia to the monastery. The initiator of this first pilgrimage in the new history of Bulgaria is Assoc. Prof. Pavel Pavlov from the Faculty of Theology at Sofia University. A few years ago, a second route was added to this route, which starts from the old Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo and near Sofia joins the already established pilgrimage route “The Rila Wonder Worker”. Both routes are commemoratively connected with the same event, the transfer in 1469 of the relics of the great protector of the Bulgarian people and the Balkans St. John of Rila from Veliko Tarnovo to the Rila Monastery. During this transfer of the relics, the monks traveled with them to a large part of the territory of Bulgaria to sanctify the land and lift the spirits of the people. The total length of the route from Veliko Tarnovo to the Rila Monastery is over 300 kilometers and in addition to a walking tour, in recent years there is also a bicycle tour. The organized trip from Sofia starts on August 1 and ends on August 6 with a solemn worship in the Rila Monastery. The road from Veliko Tarnovo usually starts a week earlier and joins on August 1 to the one from Sofia. Medical surveillance, transport of luggage, tents, etc. are provided for the participants in the organized march. The settlements through which the march passes provide food for the pilgrims, and accommodation is also offered for those who cannot use tents. The route is convenient also for individual travel over the year, except winter, paths are indicated by signs and pilgrims have the opportunity to spend the night in various chalets, private homes and hotels. For the fifth year in a row, a pilgrimage center named after “St. John of Rila“, operates in Sofia. The center is under the patronage of the Bulgarian patriarch and the jurisdiction of Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The pilgrimage center organizes and provides rich whole year touristic programs for pilgrims in the country and abroad. The center also helps those who decide to go on a pilgrimage to the route of “Rila Wonder Worker” in terms of logistics, useful advices, bookings and also can provide a guide.

Where should you stay?

Belchin Garden

SPA & Wellness

Rila Monastery

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