Preobrazhenie (Holy Transfiguration of God) Monastery is located 7 km from Veliko Tarnovo and is the largest monastery in the area. It is established during the rule of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander (1331 – 1371).
In medieval times, the monastery was located about 400 – 500 m south of its current location, as evidenced by archaeological research.
During the Ottoman rule the monastery was burned down a few times and eventually abandoned and destroyed.
In 1825 after receiving permission from Sultan Mahmud Han II, a patriotic monk, father Zoticus of Rila Monastery, started to rebuild the monastery at its current location.
The construction of the main church “Transfiguration of Christ” started in 1834 by master-builder Dimitar Sofiyaliyata and was finished by the famous builder Kolyu Ficheto. The internal and external walls of the church were decorated with frescoes between 1849 – 1851 by the great Bulgarian painter Zahari Zograph. Among the most impressive frescoes are The Last Judgement and The Wheel of Life.
In 1861 Kolyu Ficheto built the seven-bell belfry with the clock. Two years later he built the small Annunciation church on top of the underground St. Andrew chapel.
During the Russo-Turkish Liberation War (1877 – 78) the monastery was converted into a military hospital. After the Bulgarian Liberation in 1878, the Russian soldiers showed their gratitude by donating the bells, chadeliers and liturgical books for the church.
Currently the monastery is a functioning friary. Together with the invaluable frescoes, it possesses pricelss old books and icons. The monastery holiday is celebrated on August 6.