Aladzha monastery is located in a beautiful area 14 km north of Varna, near the Golden Sands resort and in the central part of the park “Golden Sands”. No reliable historical data on the origin of the monastery, but it is known that in the X-XII centuries it already existed.
The monastery is one of the few rock monasteries in Bulgaria, where are clearly identifiable separate rooms with different functions. The premises of the monastery were carved on two levels in almost 40 m high limestone cliff. At the first level are the monastery church, cells, dining room, kitchen, a small church cemetery, crypt and the business premises. The second level is a natural rock niche in the eastern part of which is built the monastery chapel. 600 – 700 m west of the monastery are located a group of caves, known as the Catacombs. The archaeological finds there – pottery, coins, graffiti and more, testify that the Catacombs were inhabited during the early Christian era (V-VI centuries).
After the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule in the late fourteenth century monastery Aladza gradually declined and is likely in XV-XVI century it was finally abandoned.
The Christian name of the monastery is unknown. The name “aladzha” means “spotted” in Turkish. The first explorer of the monastery – K. Shkorpil has recorded a story, according to which the patron of the monastery has been Saint Spas.
The monastery is today a popular tourist attraction that is visited by thousands of tourists. The Rock Monastery is located in the central part of the park “Golden Sands” – a protected area with rare tree species. The majestic surroundings combined with historical and Christian monuments make it a wonderful place for cultural, pilgrim and eco tourism.
In 2009 Aladja introduced a unique audiovisual show called “Legends of Aladza Monastery”, which is a new tourist attraction for guests of Varna and the Black Sea.
The monastery was declared an architectural monument of national importance since 1968
Besides the monastery, visitors can explore the museum with outlining models. In the building you can buy souvenirs and promotional materials.