ISLAND MONASTERY "ST. ANASTASIA"
St. Anastasia Island is located 6.5 km off the coast inside the Bay of Burgas (Black Sea); southeast of Burgas, between St. Anastasia cape and Atia cape. It is formed by solid rock of volcanic origin and has an area of 8.5 decares.
Coordinates: 42°28′6″N, 27°33′11″E
The island has the status of natural reserve. Here in the 10th century emarged a monastery dedicated to Saint Martyr Anastasia, patroness of pharmaceutics and a saviour.
The preserved parts of the monastery complex include a church, great monastery building used as monks' dormitory and a place for abbots. In the 17th-18th century the monastery was repeatedly attacked by pirates, who plundered and burned it down. In the early 19th century - in 1802, the donors Matei Kotlenetsa and his son Peter restored the church and the great monastery building. The church iconostasis is unique with rich carved decoration, paintings and icons. In 1974 it was proclaimed a national cultural heritage.
In 1925 the great monastery building, where were the monks' dormitory and library, was converted into a prison for 43 political convicts. Their escape behind border in July 1925 gave a reason the island to be renamed to Bolshevik in the years of communist regime between 1950 - 1990.
In 1975 a museum collection, displaying the history of the island was set up in the preserved premises.
The island lighthouse was built in 1854 by a French shipping company and is well preserved even today.
In the waters around the island can be seen rock formations, named "The stoned pirate ship", "Dragon" and "Mushroom". They are related to interesting legends recorded in the monastic papers and many literary works of famous artists from Burgas.
The island pier and harbour are in bad condition, expecting complete renovation. Restoration of the museum and monastery buildings will be carried out in 2012 funded by European project of Municipality Burgas.
Public access: Cruising with a boat or a yacht. The wharf is located on the southwest coast. From there, the visitors climb a stone staircase and trail to the monastery "St.Anastasia" located on the top flat ledge.