• Guided walking tour of the historical center of Sofia (02.09.2019, in the late afternoon);
• Welcome cocktail at a privatized venue called “Triangular tower of Serdica” in the heart of the city (02.09.2019, in the evening; https://www.sofiahistorymuseum.bg/en/chain-offices/triangle-tower-of-serdica);
• Conference dinner at restaurant “Pri Orlite” with magnificent view over Sofia (03.09.2019, in the evening; http://www.priorlite.com/en );
• Daily trip to Rila Monastery (05.09.2019; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rila_Monastery ) including transportation and English-speaking guide. Approx. 6h, 1.5h drive in each direction.
It can be briefly described as a combination of monumental architecture and rich history. It was founded in the X century by Ivan Rilski and used to be the primary spiritual and cultural center of Bulgaria and the whole Orthodox enclave. The library contains 16000 volumes including 134 manuscripts from 15th to 19th century, numerous incunabula and documents. The monastery's unquestionable authority influenced the Turkish sultans who confirmed the rights granted by the Bulgarian kings by special firmans. Retaining the names of the donors and the exact date of donation, they represent an original chronicle of the national consciousness, of those pure patriotic feelings and hopes which were inspired throughout centuries in every Bulgarian by the Rila Monastery - the country's largest spiritual and cultural temple. The Monastery is declared a UNESCO site.