Convent of Saint Nicholas

Arbanaski Bulgaria

Bulgarian Orthodox

Originally founded as a monastery in the 13th century, it was destroyed in 1393 in the Ottoman conquest. The complex was rebuilt in 1680. During the 1800s it became a convent, housing forty nuns. During the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) Russian military units were quartered in Arbanasi and received help from the nuns. In gratitude Russia gave an iconostasis to the convent. Many icons were gifts from the soldiers, also. All the buildings, except the church, were destroyed by earthquake in 1913. The convent has a miracle-working icon of the Virgin Mary. According to legend, women who desire to become pregnant come and pray to the Virgin Mary. When finished with the prayer, they place a coin on the icon. If it sticks, their prayer will be heard; if it fall, it will not.