From Rila to the Greek border it would be recommendable to make a stop at this Monastery a hundred kilometers from Rila. Past Sandanski has to turn to Melnik and we'll find it 7 km northeast. It was founded in the year 1220 by Aleksei Slav, a feudal lord of the 13th century, but soon fell into ruin until the restoration of the year 1597. During the Ottoman occupation the Orthodox Church used it as a convent until Bulgarian hands again in the year 1912. The structures surrounding the monastery church are irregular hexagon-shaped wooden balconies. It is a 16th century church. A porch protects the exterior frescoes which shows some believers going up a stairway to heaven with the help of angels as demons try to throw a monster. In the side chapel of the church is an icon of the Virgin. The refectory is open to the public on the 1st floor. But the best thing are the beautiful mountains for their rarity. A few meters from the monastery is the church of Cyril and Methodius in the tomb of Sabdanski. On the way there is a restaurant called Mexana that is quite good.