The Bachkovo “Assumption” monastery is the second large monastery in Bulgaria. It is an important monument of Christian architecture and one of the largest and oldest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Europe. It is located on the right bank of the Chepelare River, 189 km from Sofia and 10 km south of Asenovgrad, and is directly subordinate to the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
The monastery is known and appreciated for the unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian culture, united by the common faith. The wall paintings in the refectory date back from 1643 and they are of great art value. There are stages of “the Doomsday”, figures of holly monks, stages from the Orthodox Church history and many other mural paintings. The icon of Virgin Mary is said that is miraculous. 103 manuscripts and 252 old printed books were found in the monastery in the beginning of 20 century and were called “a real literature depository”. The library preserves many valuable incunabula and old manuscripts. Its most remarkable feature, however, are the paintings that are seen everywhere – in the church and ossuary, where the figure of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander is discernible among the 11th and 14th century murals, in the refectory (1601), in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin main church (1604), and in the Holy Trinity and St. Nicholas church (1840), which contain some of the first murals painted by the celebrated National Revival artist Zahari Zograph.