Arbanassian monastery "St. Nicola"

An unknown woodcarver had worked in the monastery. His sharp chisel carved in the wood biblical scenes, twigs, flowers, leaves. The icons of saints, warriors, bookmen in “St. Nicola” make it captivating work of art.
The ancient monastery is nestling in a small valley in the South side of the village of Arbanassi. By that side you can see Tarnovgrad and Tzarevetz, the river Yantra rounded over the fantastic Bulgarian town.
Arbanassian monastery “St. Nicola” appeared at the time when the dynasty of Assenevtsi ruled Veliko Tarnovo. But when Tsarevgrad Tarnov felt under slavery the monastery was burnt to ashes and sank into oblivion. 3 centuries went by. In the 1680 it was reconstructed. Another fire and destruction necessitated new reconstruction - then was built the current monastery’s church. At first the church was short and tumble-down building, completely
adorned with mural paintings. Later on it was rebuilt higher and its ancient frescoes were painted with lime. At that time probably had been built the chapel St. Ilya which was sanctified in the 1716. Over the walls and the vault arch are preserved wall-paintings which impress with their freshness, colouring and the artistry of the unknown painter. The church was renovated in the 1735 due to Arbanassian boyar Atanasii, later killed by the Turks because of his conspiracy against the Turkish sultan.
In the 1798 the monastery is broken down by Kardjalii. “St. Nicola” was reconstructed for last time in the 1833. The initiative was taken by the abbot Zotik.
Nowadays in good shape is a wooden cross with a silver repousse cover and adorned with precious stones. By the middle of the church’s ceiling falls big ancient bronze chandelier.
It is considered that rich Arbanassians supported the decoration of “St. Nicola”. The wall-paintings are exceptional because of the subjects of evangelical scenes. Impressive is the variety of colours, artistry of face portrayal of the saints and woodcarvings, figures of fortresses, houses, towers, people, etc.