Lopushanski monastery "St. John the Baptist", Municipality of George Damyanovo


Lopushanski monastery is located in the Chiprovtsi part of Stara planina Mountain on 300 m altitude in the valley of Dalgodelska Ogosta river, between the villages of Pomezhdin, Melyane and Georgi Damyanovo (up to 1958 it was named Lopushna). Monastery is located on 21 km from town of Montana, on 30 km from town of Berkovitsa and on 55 km westwards from town of Vratsa.

History of the monastery

On the place of the present-day monastery "St. John the Baptist" once was another one, built during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, then completely destroyed during the Ottoman rule. Until the restoration of the monastery in the middle of the nineteenth century, there is no information about its activities, except that it was burned and looted for a couple of times.

In the period 1850-1853, the Lopushanski monastery was restored by monks from Chiprovtzi Dionysius, Gerasim and Gideon. Then was built and the today's Catholic cathedral, the residential housing, the yard gates, fences and yard fountain. Author of all these buildings and facilities was the master Lilo, founder of one of the most important Renaissance building schools – the Slavinska.

Architecture ans current status

Architecturally, the Lopoushna church resembles that of the Rila Monastery and is the work of a master Lilo. It is a three-nave, three-apse building with two conches and two side chapels ("Saints Cosmas and Damian" and "St. John the Baptist"). There are three central domes and two above the side chapels, all located on high of eight- walls drums. In the stone construction of the church are carved reliefs with figures of men, animals and individual heads. A man brandishing a sword and leaning on his rifle is displayed. The temple is not painted but has one of the most beautiful altar iconostasis in Northern Bulgaria, the work of Master Stojcho Fandakov from Samokov art school. Besides the images of the apostles to the main iconostasis belong eight icons, a work of Stanislav and Nikola Dospevski. In 1923 part of the triangular pediments on the open narthex self-collapsed and with the repair of the building were removed and the rest. Thus the church lost much of its original impact. The residential wing in Lopushanski monastery was decided in the spirit of contemporary monastic architecture. It has two floors with a frame structure. On the first floor there are the food unit and several guest rooms, while on the second is housed the abbot’s unit, monastic cells and even guest rooms. In the courtyard of the monastery can be seen the constructed in 1856 white stone fountain with three spouts. During the Renaissance in Lopushanski monastery was functioning the church school and the monastery has been the center of struggles for national liberation and church ones. The monastery became a favorite place of Ivan Vazov and during his stay there he created part of his novel "Under the Yoke". In 1989 Lopushanski monastery was reconstructed because the north wing was threatened by collapse. The main merit of this is of the then abbot, Archimandrite Ambrosii, as during his time raised a new building with two beautiful carved verandas.

Lopushanski monastery is operational and inhabited by the preceptor. The complex consists of a church, residential and outhouse buildings and a white stone fountain, surrounded by stone wall.

Transport access

To the Lopushanski monastery one can reach on the road from Montana to the town of Chiprovtsi, after the detour to village of Georgi Damyanovo.


Tel: +359(0)9558 578, +359(0)88 739 7301, +359(0)88 840 5043

Web site: www.lopushanski-monastery.domino.bg

Accomodation options in the monastery

Lopushanski monastery disposes of 16 guest rooms and a restaurant - cook house.


Tourist routes:

• Klisura monastery – Todoreni kuli Peak (3.30 h.)

• Quarter Zanozhene – town Varshets – Todoreni kuli Peak (7 h.)

Neighbouring huts: „Bialata voda” hut, “Proboynitsa” hut, „Parshevitsa” hut

National tourist sites in the vicinity of Klisura monastery: town Varshets (7 km); Kom peak (12, 5 km); "Ledenika" cave (23,5 km).

Tourist routes:

• village Georgi Damyanovo – Lopushanski monastery;

• From Kom peak (2016 m) starts the pedestrian rout Е-3.

Neighbouring huts: „Kopren” hut, „Коm” hut, т.сп. " Montana", „Kozlodui bank” hut