THE BATOSHEVO MONASTERY ,,THE DORMITION OF THE HOLY VIRGIN”

The Batoshevo monastery stands at about 20 km off the town of Sevlievo, in a beautiful spot in Middle Balkan Mountains. The National Archeological Museum keeps an inscription on stone which certifies that the monastery was founded by the Bulgarian Patriarch with a donation from King Michael Assen (1246-1256). During excavations the remains of a building not far from the present monastery were discovered. After the Ottoman invasion the monastery was deserted and gradually fell into ruins.
The restoration of the monastery is connected with the monk Isya who settled there in 1809 and managed to receive a permission from the Turkish authorities to rebuild the monastery. In 1836 Master Constantine of Peshtera built the present church and in 1838 it was completed and opened a narthex on the western side and a separate stone atrium above the northern gate. The church has three naves, three domes and is covered with a stone slate. It is made of cut stone, the facade is modeled by numerous high flat alcoves. The angles of the building are rounded, on the outside the walls are decorated with graceful images of human beings, birds and fish made of stone.
The mural paintings were made thirty years later. They bear the mark of Tryavna iconographic school and thematically and stylistically follow the characteristics of the period. There are the well-known Biblical scenes, ,,Doomsday” is also there. Obviously the scene was very popular during the Revival since it raised questions about morals, patriotism and social interactions. Memorable is the bright colouring and the numerous ornaments which attribute festive character to the compositions and correspond to the upheaval of national self-confidence of Bulgarians.
The church is decorated with a large complex iconostasis made of walnut. The carving is particularly skillful but the master is anonymous. Beautiful roses, birds and vines are interwoven in the composition. The lower plates represent masterful interpretations of scenes from the ,,Hexaimeron”.
The monastery buildings date from the same period. They surround the church on three sides and have long spacious wooden balconies.
The monastery became an important spiritual and educational centre of the region. A secular school for the children of the neighbouring villages was opened there.

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