Zemen monastery St John the Theologian
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The monastery constists of two connected dwelling buildings, a small belltower and a church in the middle of a spacious inner yard. No doubt, the church deserves the biggest attention among all buildings in the complex. It dates back to the 11th century AC and is one of the few examples of Bulgarian architecture, construction and wall paintings of the Middle Ages that has survived to date. The church, which is currently not functioning, represents a cubic building with a dome made of stone. Visitors are particularly taken by the altar, which de facto represents a massive stone plane, and the floor, which resembles a mosaic of different-coloured pieces of marble and stone, gifted to the church by local people.
The Zemen monastery, named St John the Theologian, is situated just outside the town of Zemen, about 15km down off the main road from Sofia to the town of Kyustendil and the border checkpoint of Gyeshevo. It is located in a beautiful area in the skirts of the Konyavska mountain, not far away from the Zemen defile in the valley of the Struma river.