Film info

Creator / Collector

We are in the Monastery of Saint John of Rila, the largest and most famous Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is located in the Rila Mountains, at an altitude of 1,147 meters and 117 kilometers south of the capital, Sofia, in the deep valley of the Rilska River.

The film opens with the monastery and the parking lot where the filmmaker is. We see a woman getting into a car as well as parked tourist buses. The lens shows us a short shot of the Rila mountain range and then the monastery’s courtyard.

We see the imposing buildings, the central church and the Tower of Hrelyu as behind them we can see the snow-capped mountain peaks. The monastery was founded in the 10th century and is one of the most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments of Bulgaria and an important tourist attraction for both Bulgaria and Southern Europe. In 1976 it was declared a national historical monument of Bulgaria and in 1983 it was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The view changes with shots of the murals in the outer corridors as well as views of the buildings. We see a stream since Rila is the source of some of the biggest rivers of the Balkans, such as Evros, Iskar and Nestos and we get back into the monastery’s courtyard.

The film closes with the camera focused on a monk who talks to the visitors, a general shot of the courtyard with the snowy mountain and the woman admiring the view.


Film Information

Athanasoglou Nikolaos




Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm