Rock Monastery of Shashkunite in Provadia, Bulgaria

View from the 4th cell.

This rock monastery was carved and inhabited during the 12th and 13th-centuries by local monks. It consists of ten cells (caves) located about 98-feet (30-meters) above ground.

The cells are separated into two groups. The first consists of three cells followed by two other separate caves. The second group, the main enclosure, is made of five cells, two of which are located higher than the others. The caves of this grouping are connected by small tunnels carved into the rock.

In the last cell, visitors will find an empty grave accompanied by a cross carved into the wall. It’s assumed the grave was the victim of robbers since few traces remain of its contents.¬†

In the past, the monastery was practically inaccessible. Nowadays, a metallic suspension bridge allows visitors to cross over the valley to reach the second group of caves. The monastery is occasionally home to a couple of rock eagles.