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Basarbovo – Birthplace of Saint Dimitar Basarbovski

Basarbovo – Birthplace of Saint Dimitar Basarbovski

Published Jan 31, 2023 Updated Jan 31, 2023 Travel
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Basarbovo – Birthplace of Saint Dimitar Basarbovski

On the 27th October, a day after the feast of St. Dimitar Basarbovski, in the village of Basarbovo, locals make a sacrificial rite for health and pray for a blessing from God and their Holy Saint Dimitar Basarbovski.

If we do not read the stories but listen to the legends that have been passed down for centuries to generations, we will realize that the Saint is not just a person from the history of the village, but he is the foundation, around which the Bulgarians' faith and their prosperity continue to be built. These people said that St. Dimitar was a native of their village, his parents were poor and he was grazing herds. As he walked the forests and fields, he stepped into a sparrow nest by accident and killed the birds. His negligence led Dimitar to the decision to give up his life and devote himself to God and he repented his act for the rest of his life. The foot, which stepped on the nest, he kept bare for the rest of his life. This is exactly how he is depicted in the rock church above the monastery.

The legend says that when he felt that the end of his earthly days was close, Saint Dimitar simply laid between two stones and died. This happened on 1st May — the day of the Prophet Jeremiah, when the ritual for rain are made here in this area. Such a downpour took the body of the Saint into the river and his remains disappeared. A blind girl, for whom the locals claim to be Saint Marina, showed the relics of the saint to the people, in a place that at night was light-lit.

The light was so bright sometimes that the natives believed that there was a treasure buried. They asked the valia (the ottoman governor) for permission to start digging and found the relics of the Saint. They laded them on a cow wagon but at one place the animals stopped and refused to continue. People made a church there. The place, where the relics were found, is marked by a two-metre stone even nowadays.

The relics of Saint Dimitar were often moved around to different places, but eventually stopped in Bucharest, whose patron is the Saint, with a birthplace in Basarbovo. There, in the Patriarchy, everyone can see the hand of the Saint and ask him for mercy.

The village of Basarbovo has its history from the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. It was probably owned by the father-in-law of Tsar Ivan Alexander -Ivanko Bassarab. Later, probably due to the plague, the village was moved and changed the name to Basarbovo. People believed that the plague would not find them and because of that they made these radical changes. And it probably happened and since then their faith became as hard as the rocks, in which Saint Dimitar lived and lives today.

If the legend of St. Dimitar Basarbovski has thrilled you, the Basarbovo Rock Monastery is the place where you will truly feel the connection with the Saint. It is the only operational rock monastery in Bulgaria remaining as a 13th century heritage for Bulgarians.  The monks there are hospitable and do not refuse a talk to anyone, who wants to learn more about their habitation.

The walk in the village area is a unique experience - the canyon of the river is extremely picturesque. There are suitable conditions for bird watching tourism with a remarkable variety of birds in Basarbovo village region.

Discover the beauty of the Monstery and the region here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKNGh7kd1RM or just come and visit the place!

 

© Texts and photos were made within the project “RTD Giurgiu-Ruse - Sustaining Rural Tourism in the Giurgiu-Ruse Area Through its Cultural Heritage”, funded under the INTERREG V-A Romania-Bulgaria Programme 2014-2020

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