Lopushna Monastery of Saint John the Forerunner

One of the wonders of Montana Province is the magnificent Lopushna Monastery, lying at the foot of Stara Planina, not far from the village of Georgi Damyanovo. It is exactly 30 kilometers from the town of Berkovitsa and about 120 kilometers from Sofia. From Montana take the road to Chiprovtsi, then turn at the exit for Georgi Damyanovo, and you will see the monastery in front of you. Its fate is similar to that of most Bulgarian monasteries during the Ottoman rule when it was destroyed, plundered and rebuilt multiple times. After the 1853 restoration, it became an important spiritual centre. For a time it maintained a monastic school for the children of poor families living in the area. It is also linked with the liberation struggles of the Bulgarians against the Ottomans. National writer Ivan Vazov considered the monastery a favorite place and wrote part of his much-loved novel Under the Yoke here. For a long time, the place was known as the deserted monastery on account of its long-lasting abandonment after the destruction at the time of the Chiprovtsi Uprising of 1688. Today’s complex includes a church, dormitories, and a white stone drinking fountain, built in 1856, with three spouts of holy water, springing 3 kilometers below the ground. In the monastery church of the Assumption of the Theotokos look for the impressive high arcade of the U-shaped external gallery, resting on twelve cylindrical columns. Two of the church icons of Jesus Christ and the Theotokos were painted in 1863 by the prominent Bulgarian artist Stanislav Dospevski (1823-1878). The monastery is active and all-male and provides overnight accommodation. Despite its geographical location in Montana Province, today it is part of Vidin Eparchy.

Day 1
Day 1 Osenovlashki monastery – Vratsa – Klisura monastery

Visit to the Osenovlashki Monastery of the Seven Altars

Visit to the Ethnographic complex “Dyado Yotso” (optional)

Lunch in Vratsa

Visit to the Church St. Sopronius and the Ethnographic Museum

Departure to the Klisura Monastery of Saints Cyril and Methodius and overnight accommodation in the Monastery

Day 2
Day 2 Montana – Drobeta Turnu Severin

Visit to the Lopushanski Monastery

Departure to Montana

Lunch in Montana

Visit to the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Montana

Visit to the Montana History Museum, The Lapidarium – Open-air archaeological exposition and Castra ad Montanesium fortress, Montana (optional)

Departure to Romania

Dinner and overnight accommodation in Drobeta Turnu Severin

Day 3
Day 3 Orșova – Dubova

Visit to the Mraconia Monastery, the rock-carved bed of the Danube river, the sculpture of Decebalus, Dubova cave, boat trip on the Danube

Lunch in Dubova area

Dinner and overnight accommodation it the Monastery of Saint Ana

Day 4
Day 4 – Orșova – Drobeta Turnu Severin

Visit to the Vodița Monastery and the Monastery of St. Ana, Orsova area

Visit to the Medieval Fortress of Severin

Dinner and overnight accommodation in Drobeta Turnu Severin

Day 5
Day 5 – Departure

Pri Stalin Complex 
GPS coordinates: 43.195515 / 43°11’44” N – 23.197184 / 23°11’50” E
Address:  D812, between Spanachevtsi and Yagodovo, Montana

Hotel-Restaurant Kiprovets 
GPS coordinates: 43.383876 / 43°23’2” N – 22.880202 / 22°52’48” E
Address: 14 Ivan Stanislavov”, Chiprovtsi, Montana

SPA Hotel-restaurant ATA

GPS coordinates: 43.186530 / 43°11’11” N – 23.281487 / 23°16’53” E
Address: 1A „Konstantin Penev“, Varshets, Montana

Hotel-restaurant Zhitomir 
GPS coordinates: 43.408911 / 43°24’32” N – 23.223893 / 23°13’26” E
Address: 1 „Zheravitsa“ , Montanta, district Montana

Hotel-Restaurant Vesta  
GPS coordinates: 43.408684 / 43°24’31” N – 23.219929 / 23°13’11” E
Addres: 10 „Tsar Samuil“ , Montana, District Montana

Family hotel-restaurant Ring
GPS coordinates: 43.389178 / 43°23’21” N – 23.216836 / 23°13’0” E
Address: Ogosta lake, Montana, Montana District

Ancient Fortress Castra ad Montanesium, Montana
GPS coordinates: 43.402111 / 43 ° 24’7 “N – 23.217449 / 23 ° 13’2” E (at rest) or 43.400419 / 43 ° 24’1 “N – 23.220806 / 23 ° 13’15” E
Address: 91 Izvora str., Town of Montana, Montana District
Montana District hosts numerous historical attractions. The most significant one is the Fortress Castra ad Montanesium, situated in the northwestern part of Montana, on the Kaleto hill. There are numerous prehistoric archaeological findings for the first inhabitants of the Stone Age in this region. The settlement was also inhabited by the Thracians until the 1st century BC. Today, we see traces of stone walls more than one meter high that have been used to protect the fortress against external attacks. Due to its wealth of minerals, including gold around the Ogosta River, the place was conquered by the Romans in the 1st century BC. They also gave the name of the city, possibly deriving from the Latin word Mons, meaning mountain. Montana then became the centre of the Roman province Lower Mizia, with a permanent military presence, connected with trade routes leading to the rest of the Roman Empire. During this period, the exploitation of gold, the agriculture, and the craftsmanship developed rapidly here. Barracks, basilica, an ancient fortress wall, a pagan sanctuary, dedicated to the Roman gods Diana and Apollo, and others remains have been found here. The city was destroyed at the end of the 4th century with the invasion of the Avars and then the Slavs. The Slavs built a new settlement here named Kutlovitsa, and one of its buildings was transformed into a pagan sanctuary, preserved to this day, dedicated to the Slavonic god of fertility Perun.

Regional Museum of History, Montana
GPS coordinates: 43.406171 / 43 ° 24’22 “N – 23.226815 / 23 ° 13’36” E
Address: 3 Graf Ignatiev Str., Montana, Montana District.
If you are in Montana, drop by to visit the Regional History Museum. Initially it was founded in 1951 to commemorate the September Uprising, and therefore it was called “Museum of the September Uprising”. In 1991 it was declared a full-fledged museum of history. Today, it houses valuable collections, presenting the rich history of the entire region. The museum preserves valuable artefacts from the Thracian and Roman periods, the Middle Ages and the Bulgarian National Revival period. The Montana museum keeps a copy of the Yakimovo treasure, since the original is now in the National Museum of History in Sofia. There is an outdoor exposition, named Lapidarium, which is part of the Regional Museum of Montana. The museum sites Mihailova house, the train composition, the ancient fortress and the orthodox church of “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” are part of the entire complex.

Lapidarium Outdoor Exposition, Montana
GPS coordinates: 43.403955 / 43 ° 24’14 “N – 23.221906 / 23 ° 13’19” E
Address: “Dimitar Talev” Str., in the Park of the Popska Gradina, Montana, Montana.
The lapidarium is an open-air archaeological exposition representing epigraphic monuments of the Roman Empire. The composition includes 56 monuments found in the ancient Roman settlement Montanesium (now named Montana), today situated in a beautiful park in Montana. During the archeological excavations, inscriptions on a marble have been found, considered as important written sources about the culture and history of this region in the 2nd-3rd century AD. These are the only written sources found for this Roman provincial town. They give information about the cult of the goddess Diana, who was a defender of the town of Montana and other Roman deities. The inscriptions on stones and marble tell of the glorious past of the Roman emperors, senior military and civilians from the province of Lower Mizia.

Historical Museum in Chiprovtsi
GPS coordinates: 43.383742 / 43 ° 23’1 “N – 22.879665 / 22 ° 52’46” E
Address: 2 Vitosha Str., Chiprovtsi, Montana District
If you would like to learn more about the history of this area, a must-see destination on your route is the picturesque town of Chiprovtsi, located in the Balkans mountains. Its present and past are presented in the Town Museum of History in the centre of the town. The Museum was opened in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the so called “Chiprovsko” Uprising against the Turks. The museum houses the only collection of dyestuffs in Bulgaria, which is used to produce the famous Chiprovtsi carpets, which are part of the national cultural heritage of Bulgaria.

Trip Facts

  • 43.376843 / 43°22’36” N – 23.020922 / 23°1’15” E
  • 3470 Georgi Damyanovo
  • D102, then D1024
  • 00359889274172
  • Not required
  • Yes
  • https://lopushanski-manastir.bg/
  • 112

Tourist information centres in Bulgaria

Tourist information centres in Romania

County of Mehedinţi

County of Dolj

County of Olt