Plovdiv, 29 km north Bulgaria
One of the oldest monasteries in Bulgaria, Bachkovo was founded in 1083. It is known for original architecture, collections of icons, jewelry, coins, and manuscripts. The two churches are filled with remarkable paintings from the 14th, 17th and 19th centuries. The main church, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, is from 1604; St. Nicholas dates from 1840 and has some of the first murals painted by National Revival artist Zahari Zograph.