Balkan Summer School on Nuclear Physics 2012

Excursion 1

Rila Monastery, Bansko and Dobarsko

09:00h After breakfast we depart north.
10:30h Visit to the Rila Monastery - the most famous tourist site in Bulgaria included in UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List. It is located high in the marvellous Rila Mountain and is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria and one of the most remarkable monuments on the Balkan Peninsula. The monastery was founded in the l0th century by the Bulgarian monk St. John of Rila and was rebuilt in the l3th -l4th century. From that time are the fortress tower, the bishop's throne, richly carved doors and some manuscripts and icon-paintings. Later the monastery complex was plundered and ravaged for several times. Its thorough renovation began in the early l9th century. In the four-storeyed dormitories there are more than 400 cells, 4 chapels, guest-rooms, a cook-house, unique in terms of construction and design. The mural paintings are remarquable works of masters from Samokov and Basnko Art Schools. Our visit includes also the monastery museum with its interesting exposition and rich library.
12:00h Lunch with a glass of Bulgarian wine.
13:30h Depart for Dobarsko village.
14:30h On the way we will make a very short stop at Bansko town - the most famous winter resort in Bulgaria, cozily situated at the foot of three mountains - Rila, Pirin and the Rhodopes. The town uniquely preserves the atmosphere of the Bulgarian Revival Period.
15:00h Continue to the cozy little village of Dobarsko.
15:30h Here we will visit the famous church (12th century) well-known for its unique (1622 AC) wall-paintings depicting Jesus Christ in a space ship. In the church yard, local grannies will welcome us performing folk dances and singing songs. We will be kindly treated to "Banitsa" (cheese pastry) and "Ajran" (yogurt drink) - specialties of the region.
17:00h Drive back to Bachinovo (about 1½h)

Excursion 2

Rozhen Monastery, Melnik and Dobarsko

09:00h After breakfast we depart south.
10:30h Visit to the the Rozhen monastery situated about 5km away from the small town of Melnik up in the lower part of the Pirin mountain. The Rozhen monastery is the biggest sanctuary in the Pirin region and one of the few Bulgarian monasteries of the Middle Ages, which has survived relatively intact up to present days. All the monastery buildings were constructed in different periods, with the monks' dining room, the bone-vault and several farm buildings. Besides well preserved wall paintings, the monastery is famous for its stained glass (the oldest of its type preserved till present days) and unique woodcarvings. As other monasteries, the Rozhen one also has its miraculous icon-protector - the Virgin Mary, which is kept in an ark in one of the chapels of the complex. According to the legend, the icon is one of the few copies of a sacred iron, owned by a widow of Nikea (Greece).
11:30h Short transfer to the smallest town in Bulgaria - Melnik (about 200 citizens). This idyllically situated town is famous for its architecture from the Bulgarian Revival period and for its excellent wines. A real natural phenomenon are the sand pyramids surrounding the town. Visit to Kordopulova house - a monument of the Renaissance period and one of the oldest wine-cellars in the town. A tunnel maze passes through the sandy rocks under the house, creating the perfect air conditions for the wine maturation.
12:00h Lunch with a glass of Melnik wine.
13:30h Depart for Dobarsko village.
15:30h In Dobarsko we will visit the famous church (12th century) well-known for its unique (1622 AC) wall-paintings depicting Jesus Christ in a space ship. In the church yard, local grannies will welcome us performing folk dances and singing songs. We will be kindly treated to "Banitsa" (cheese pastry) and "Ajran" (yogurt drink) - specialties of the region.
17:00h Drive back to Bachinovo (about 1½h)