Rila Monastery was founded in the l0th century by the Bulgarian monk St. John of Rila and was rebuilt in the l3th -l4th century. From that time are the fortress tower (1334), the bishop's throne, richly carved doors and some manuscripts, icon-paintings and church plates. In the l5th century, when Bulgaria fell to the Ottoman Turks, the monastery was abandoned for a short time but in the second half of the same century it was restored to a new life. Later it was for several times plundered and ravaged. Its thorough renovation began in the early l9th century. It was then that the residential wings and the church of the Holy Virgin were raised (1834-1837). The Rila Monastery has been listed as a world monument of culture. In it there is a well-appointed museum.