- locations and meanings
religion in the village is Christian Orthodox and it is surrounded
by 24 Chapels of different ages and sizes built after the Village
was invaded by the Turks who decimated all the monasteries and the
churches in the area.
These 24 Chapels are placed in a circle
surrounding Momchilovtsi and signify a "fire ring". According
to legend they were built to protect the inhabitants and the village
from evil and diseases and from further invasion.
On the two highest points of the village
there are also Crosses approximately 10' high which are illuminated
at night to protect the villagers/inhabitants whilst they sleep.
The Chapels are open 24 hours a day
and each one is maintained by the families of the village. They
are centres for celebrations and contemplation. A booklet is being
printed to show the location and walks linking them.
The chapels and crosses also provide places of peace
and tranquility and interesting walks to view the surrounding areas
and the village. In the centre of the village is the much larger
Church of Saints Konstantinos and Helena. Services are held at 5.00pm
on Tuesdays and Saturdays and at 10.00am on Sundays.
south from the peak of St Ilia, hidden in the Pine Forest, is the
"Ayazmoto" - a place where many believes received healing.
One of the stories is as follows:
On 15 August, 1980 (the Day of the Mother of
God) the family of Anastas and Velika Draganovi when the the Bachkovo
Monastery to try and find an answer to the problems of not being
able to conceive".
True believers stayed in the monastery overnight
and made a tour of the nearby Chapels "Bachkovo ajazmo"
and "Kluviata". At this time the woman had all the signs
and symptoms of pregnancy but a year had passed and she still had
not given birth.
family then visited a clairvoyant "Kotteza" who told the
woman "You are not pregnant but you are sick. Go back to your
village where there is a piece of grass with a stone above it. Dig
there for the Glory of God and healing water will spring out of
Drink this water and let the priest bless this
place. Then make a small Chapel that will heal every suffering man"
The family came back to Momchilovtsi and did
everything they were told. The spring was blessed and is used to
this day by those believing that the waters have healing powers.
Many Christians still visit the place
on 5th May - St George's Day. The pray, light a candle and wash
their faced with the water. They then take some of the water back
to their homes to bring health and happiness.
Some of the other Chapels in
St. Nedelja” chapel –
built by Hadji Nedelcho Kanev (an Italian school of stonemasonry)
„St. Theodore”, „St. Athanasius”, „St.
Nicholas”, „St. Michael, the Archangel”, „Resurrection
of Christ”, „St. Petka”, „The Holy Apostles
Peter and Paul”, „St. Mina”, „St. Thomas”,
„Ascension of Christ”, „St. Demetrius”,
„St. John the Baptist”, „The Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles
Cyril and Methodius”, „The Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles
Emperor Constantine and his Mother St. Helen”, „St.
Pantheleimonos”, „The Transfiguration of Christ”,
„The Protection of the Virgin Mary”, „Holy Spirit”,
“The Nativity of the Holy Virgin” chapel – it
is situated in the village. Several times the Holy Virgin has appeared
early in the morning in front of young girls, passing by the chapel.
The Holy Water
– a life – giving spring and a chapel. The Holy Water
is respected by Christians and Muslims. It is famous with its healing
qualities and wonder – working power. Together with „
St. Elijah” chapel, the Holy Water and its chapel are situated
in a natural park.
As it is almost impossible
to view all the Chapels in one walk they have been divided into
3 separate walks (please contact the Tourist
Information Centre for further information)