The Oldest Monastery in Europe?

Does new research push the date of a monastery in Bulgaria, founded by St. Athanasius himself, back to 344 AD? Definitely maybe:

Bulgarian archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is the oldest Christian monastery in Europea near the village of Zlatna Livada in southern Bulgaria.

According to latest archaeological research, the St. Athanasius monastery, still functioning near the village, has been founded in 344 by St. Athanasius himself, reports the BGNES agency.
Until now, the Candida Casa monastery, founded in 371 AD in Galloway, Scotland, was believed to be the oldest Christian monastery in Europe, followed by the St. Martin monastery in the Pyrénées-Orientales, France (373 AD).

Archaeologists have examined objects in a hermit’s cave and shrine located near the present St. Athanasius monastery in Bulgaria, and found evidence that the great saint might have resided there.

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.


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