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This is the most common description you will find about Melnik. We even study this at school. I personally have lived in another one of the smallest towns in Bulgaria. And my daughter was baptised in one of them. Melnik is far from these places but has always attracted me with its beauty and rich history.

Melnik is a special place. It has long and interesting history but would not reveal it to anyone. Today it has 325 official inhabitants and no one would suggest that only a century ago more than 10 000 people lived here. Well, in 1912 the town was inhabited mostly by Greeks and there were over 1000 houses. 

Rozhen Monastery

The Rozhen Monastery is the biggest monastery in the Pirin Mountains in southwestern Bulgaria, nestled in the Melnik Earth Pyramids. It is one of the few medieval Bulgarian monasteries well preserved until today. The earliest archaeological evidence of medieval life at the place is a grave with a few coins and decorations from the time of Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos (1259–1282). Some other items also date to the 13th century while the marble frieze above the central gate of the church dates to the 13th or 14th century. A couple of new buildings were constructed in the monastery at the time of Despot Alexius Slav. The earliest written source testifying to the monastery's existence is a note on a chant book from 1551, today in the Great Lavra library on Mount Athos.

The monastery church was built before the 15th century and painted in 1597; some of those frescoes are preserved. In 1611, the south facade was painted. The Rozhen Monastery was devastated by fire between 1662 and 1674, destroying the library and severely damaging most buildings.
The monastery was restored over the next century with the financial help of rich Bulgarians from the whole country. The reconstruction began in 1715 and was fully finished in 1732.


Rupite (Bulgarian: Рупите, pronounced [ˈrupitɛ]) is a village which includes a small mountainous protected area in the southeastern part of Blagoevgrad Province, Bulgaria, 10-12 kilometres northeast of Petrich, inside Petrich Municipality, on the right bank of the Struma River. It is best known as the place where the Bulgarian medium Baba Vanga lived and was buried. The area is in fact the crater of an extinct volcano, its appearance being shaped by the volcanic hill of Kozhuh, the thermal springs and Pchelina Hill. The village has 1,124 inhabitants. Rupite is a protected area, which is situated at a distance of about 10 km from Petrich and 2 km from the village of Rupite, at the eastern foot of the extinct volcano Kozhuh Mountain (281 meters altitude). The hill was built by volcanic rocks. Its name comes from the fact that it looks like a mantle (kozhuh in Bulgarian). In 1962 a part of the locality of Kozhuh – 0.4 hectares – was declared a natural landmark. The protected area of Rupite is famous for its healing mineral springs with a temperature of 74° C and capacity of up to 35 l/sec