St Iliya Plakovo Monastery

St Iliya Plakovo Monastery (of St Elijah) (by the side of the village of Plakovo) is 2 – 3 km west of Kapinovo Monastery.

There is no information as to precisely when it came into existence on its present day site, but there are data that in the 16tm century it had already existed.

Plakovo Monastery was the centre of Velchova Zavera Plot in 1835. After the plotters were captured and the uprising was discomfitted, part of the participants were massacred, the rest were hanged or sent into exile, and the monastery was ravaged.

Repeatedly destroyed and renovated during the Turkish domination, the monastery was rebuilt in 1845 with the participation of master builder Nikola Fichev, who put up the cathedral church and, probably, the residential quarters, while in 1856 he also built the impressive belfry.

The solid church has extremely modest decoration in terms of mural paintings; the only painted scene here is ‘St Elijah on a Charriot’ with a depiction of a scale model of the church.

The author of most of the icons was Zahariy Zograph. The iconostasis has exquisite and harmonious proportions and is characterised by deep wood carving of intertwining stylised floral elements.

The monastery had been a veritable spiritual centre during the National Revival Period.

Here Neofit Bozveli discussed and planned with the monks the training and sending out of teachers and priests throughout the country to teach and preach in the Bulgarian language.

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