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Church of Saints Teodor Tiron & Teodor Stratilat

Church of Saints Teodor Tiron & Teodor Stratilat
map Church of Saints Teodor Tiron & Teodor Stratilat

The church was founded in 1614 with the support of wealthy benefactors from Dobarsko, an isolated village in the heart of Rila Mountain. The most notable of them was a man by the name of Hasiya, who had visited Jerusalem and brought back soil from the sacred land. This way people who were seeking spiritual purification, but could not take the journey themselves, could come here to pray and receive blessing.

Legends relate the church to one of the most tragic events in the history of Bulgaria. In 1014 in a battle with the Byzantine army at Belasitsa, the Bulgarians suffered a great defeat after which 14,000 survivors were blinded and released, leaving one man per each 100 with just one eye to lead them home. It is believed that among the first settlers here were the blinded troops of Tsar Samuil, who came for the healing power of the small spring in the backyard of the church. It is also known that Saint Clement of Ohrid (Sv.Kliment Ohridski) healed his eyes with water from this spring. These legends are very well conveyed by the frescoes within the church.

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