The long autumn days are over, so today's idea for a tour is close to Plovdiv and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful autumn palette without traveling far. The holy monastery is located less than 10 km from Asenovgrad, on the road to Parvomay. When you leave the town, go through the village of Kozanovo and shortly after it you will see the turnoff to the right. A few meters inland on a dirt gravel road and the monastery wall will be revealed in front of you.
On one side there is a huge meadow available for games, picnics and relaxation, and for those who are not prepared with food and drinks there is a small restaurant to have something.
Beyond the walls is the healing spring. It is said that its water helps a lot with all kinds of eye diseases. According to legend, the Turkish bey had a blind daughter. A relative of his had a prophetic dream in which she saw the place and advised him to take her there for healing. Although an unbeliever, he carried out the order, and after washing her eyes, the young girl started seeing.
As a sign of gratitude, the Turk built the holy spring and donated money to start the construction of the monastery. It was built in 1856 by hieromonk Sophrony. In architecture it is close to the Athos type of cross-domed churches. Three years later the school of the monastery was founded. Money for the construction was not spared and that is why the Arapovski Monastery is one of the most beautiful in the Plovdiv diocese. The frescoes were made between 1864 and 1884 by Alexi Atanasov and Georgi Danchov Zografina. There is evidence that during the April Uprising, Ivan Vazov's mother lived here with her children. The Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) temporarily put an end to the holy monastery, as it was burned down, after which it was rebuilt.
As soon as we enter, a spacious yard and a not so high tower, resembling a fortress, are revealed in front of us. Today it functions as a museum, presenting the life of a famous hajduk - Angel Voyvoda. Against the symbolic entrance fee of 0.50 BGN for a child and 1 BGN for an adult, everyone can look inside and admire the view from the upper part of the building. Behind it you will find a long canopy with tables and benches, which is also suitable for relaxation.
Throughout the monastery complex under the shadows are numerous benches, on which young and old patiently wait to light a candle in the church, or to buy something from the products in the church shop. Right in the middle rises the church, which is extremely interesting with its picturesque decoration, the work of the famous Bulgarian painter Georgi Danchov - Zografina. Guided by a strong patriotic feeling, for the first time in the history of Bulgarian painting, he painted scenes from the life of the Slavic teachers St. St. Cyril and Methodius.
The area is extremely suitable for weekend tourism and its advantage is that it definitely lacks the crowds typical of the area of Bachkovo Monastery, for example. Grab sandwiches, drinks and a blanket and go in nature for a while today.