Allino Monastery and Stronghold

The Allino monastery "Ascension of the Lord" is situated in the Vitosha Little Holy Woods in the Plana Mountain under the Kaleto peak (1,190 m.) at a distance of 6 km. to the north-east of the village of Allino. The monastery came into being in the 16th-17th century, and in the 18th - 19th century it underwent renovation. During the years of the early national renaissance, it was a learning a book center of local significance. From the once numerous buildings of the monastery what now remains are a church and a half destroyed residential building. The church is small (with dimensions of 7.5 by 3.8 meters) and is a one-nave, one-apse structure without a dome dug to the depth of one meter in the ground. The monastery is extremely interesting with its specific mural paintings - a collective work of master-painters of various personal creative styles. According to the church donor's superscription, the old monastery church was renovated and covered with paintings in 1626. A number of gospel scenes are painted, the story beginning with the birth of Christ and going forward to his crucifixion. The paintings in the central part of the church follow the traditions of the masters from Aton and are accompanied by a Slavonic superscription. The images on the southern wall of the church are of higher artistic value, and the most valuable are the mural paintings on the vaults above the altar and the holy place. Of significant value are the big icons on the iconostasis of the Savior, the holy Mother of God, of St. Ivan of the Rila Mountain, of St. John the Forerunner, and the small sized combination icon of 1845. The mural paintings with the images of Christ the Great Archangel as well as the gospel scenes of the Judgment by Pilate, the Crucifixion of Christ, and the Lamentation date back to 1626.

In the immediate vicinity of the monastery, is found the medieval stronghold of "Allinsko Kale" the remains of which are dated back to the 11th - 14th century. The wall of the fortress used to surround a space of about 3,000 sq. meters, its preserved height reaching up to 2.5 meters. The stronghold has been examined by archeologists. It is supposed that the Allinsko Kale was built between in the period of the 12th - 13th century and continued its existence up to the middle of the 17th century.