The second largest monastery in Bulgaria was established in 1083 in the village of Bachkovo, only 25 km south of Plovdiv in the foothills of the majestic Rhodope Mountain. It is the home of several prominent artworks of historical and cultural significance, such as murals by the prominent Bulgarian artist Zahari Zograf, a large number of murals and frescoes depicting historical figures and biblical scenes, and one of the oldest wood-carved iconostases in Bulgaria. The most treasured item in the monastery, which is held inside the temple, is the miraculous Virgin Mary icon. It dates as far back as 1311, as it was a gift to the monastery from two Georgian travelers - Atanasii and Okrapir. Legend has it that the icon ‘flew’ from a Georgian monastery to Bachkovo and ‘landed’ in the area “Kluviata”. From there it was brought to the Bachkovo monastery by monks and placed in front of the temple, so as to observe all who enter this holy place, and whether their hearts are kind. The short pedestrian street leading up to the monastery is the site of a marketplace where you can browse and shop for trinkets, handcrafts, a huge array of spices, honey, jam and food and other souvenirs.