The Elenska Basilica

... from Katerina in Get to know Bulgaria! Visits 1440 15 October, 2019
The Elenska Basilica is located between the town of Pirdop and the village of Anton, at the foot of the southern slopes of of Stara planina (Balkan mountains), Bulgaria. The place is very peaceful, very pleasant for a walk in the nature and suitable for picnics.

The Elenska Basilica is located between the town of Pirdop and the village of Anton, at the foot of the southern slopes of of Stara planina (Balkan mountains), Bulgaria.

The early christian temple is located in the locality known as Elensko. Next to it is the Elenska river, hence the name of the Elena basilica, also called "St. Ilia" monastery. By architecture, the basilica is of the type fortified temples. It consists of the temple itself, monastery buildings and the surrounding fortress walls. It is believed that it was built towards the end of the 5th century, and then it was converted during the reign of emperor Justinian the Great (527-565). During the Second Bulgarian state the monastery was an active literary center until 1700, when the turks burned it and destroyed it.

It is believed that in anciently by 6-5 bc the place where the temple was located was the sanctuary of thracian tribe. Near the basilica you can see the ruins of a settlement, which are believed to be from the thracian town of Burdapa.

The basilica was declared a cultural monument from the 4th century and is included in the UNESCO list of protected cultural sites.

Driving along the sub-balkan main road you will see a large sign with a photo that will guide you exactly where to stop to get to the landmark. There are places to park right next to the basilica. The place is very peaceful, very pleasant for a walk in the nature and suitable for picnics.

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