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THE LYASKOVETS MONASTERY "SAINTS PETER AND PAUL"

The monastery is situated at about 2 km from the small town of Lyaskovets and several kilometers off Veliko Turnovo, standing on a high rock of the Arbanassi Plato.

The legends mention a fortress of the Assen family in these parts. This is the centre of the uprising of the brothers Assen and Peter in 1186 which led to the liberation of Bulgaria from Byzantine rule and the establishment of the Second Bulgarian State. The legend has it that the two brothers made a pledge - if their plan is successful they would build a monastery on the high rock.

During the Ottoman invasion in the end of the 14th c the monastery was destroyed (c. 1662). The monks had busy contacts with Russia. In 1708 King Peter I sent a present to the monastery - a Gospel with gilded binding, which is kept in the Church Museum in Sofia.

During the years of its existence the monastery has hosted many Bulgarian revolutionaries. In 1700 in it was prepared the well-known Marino uprising organized by the widow Maria, her son Stoyan and the Wallachian voevode Mircho. In 1856 the detachment of Captain Nikola started from the monastery in their battle for liberation. In June 1862 in it was organized the rebellion of Hadji Stavri with seventy participants.

The monastery presented temporary refuge to many educationists and rebels against the Turkish yoke, among them Vassil Levski. In 1874 Ilarion Makriopolski created the first monastic school (seminary) in Bulgaria which functioned till 1885.

The big earthquake of 1913 destroyed the buildings of the monastery and only the former monastic school remained. A valuable works of art and literature perished in this way. The present church, the monastery buildings and the bell-tower with a clock were erected much later thanks to the support of patriotic Bulgarians, mainly from Lyaskovets.

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