Kremikovtsi Monastery

It was founded during the 14th century, during the rule of Tzar Ivan Alexander, when 14 monasteries known as the "Sofia Mount Athos" were erected around Sofia. Destroyed in 1332, it was among the first monasteries to be restored later. In 1493 its buildings were restored, and St. George's Church - the only building from that period that still stands - erected.
On the outside, the church is small and insignificant, like all the "semi-legal" buildings of those dark times. As a compensation, the murals (partially preserved today) turned the interior into a marvelous gallery. Here, the spirit of the aristocratic Tarnovo Art School still lives. The coloring is respectfully solemn, the drawing elegant, to the point of exquisiteness, the figures are lofty and exalted.
The artists of the Kremikovtsi Church dared to not blindly follow the traditional methods, but to challenge them. In the overall composition of the murals, they introduced a new element which renewed the art of the time, and has, at its turn, become traditional. This is the richly ornamented frieze of the waist-length figures of saints and martyrs, introduced for the first time, which separated the "classic upright saints" from subject scenes, thus diversifying and enriching the general picture.
The Kremikovtsi Monastery also contains some valuable examples of a calligraphic art mastered during the 15th century, when the Sofia School of Literature was created. This art was further developed and used at many monasteries among which the ones in Dragalevtsi, Kremikovtsi, Kokalyane, and German. The so-called Kremikovtsi Gospel is an example of it.