Monastery “St Joan Podrom”

Monastery “St Joan Podrom” was founded in the 6th – 8th century. At the beginning of the 9th century, a fortified monastery was built on the site of a small church, which received the relics of an ecclesiastic. It was the center of one of the great medieval dioceses – Ahridos and has a typical Athonian style. In it in 1998. a unique tomb was discovered that preserved the relics of a high-ranking bishop and parts of the gold-embroidered textiles of the bishop’s vestments from the 13th – 14th centuries. This makes it a value of world importance.

The remarkable thing in this complex are the three temples and the two tombs. At the beginning of the 11th century, a complete reconstruction of the monastery was carried out, it was distinguished by a unique structure. A new fortress wall was built, with square towers at the four ends and in the middle of the walls. To the east of the large three-apsed conchal church was the palace of the abbot – bishop of the Ahridos bishopric.t.

Short History

From the lead seals found in the administrative center of Perperikon, the names of three bishops are known – Thomas, Constantine and Eustathius. At the beginning of the 13th century, the vestibule from the west was turned into a crypt. After another raid, the southern conch was rewritten, on which the painter left the words – “I, Dobromir, wrote in the holy Prodrom”. Monastery “St Joan Podrom” experienced moments of rise and attacks. Life in it subsided at the end of the 14th century, but the memory of it was preserved until the beginning of the new century. Quadrangular fortress wall with five towers, three-apsed, three-nave cross-domed church /10-14th century / with the partially preserved wall painting.

The symbol of Christianity – the cross – is embedded in its very plan. The architecture of the temple “St. John Prodrom” directly followed the catholicon “St. Athanasius”. In the year 2000, the restored church, after 600 years of silence, once again rang with a bell ringing in Kardzhali. It is included in the 100 national tourist sites of the Republic of Bulgaria. There is constant tourist interest in the Monastery, but accurate statistics on visits are not kept. Read more…





village of Glavatartsi, №1, Kardzhali