The only still functioning rock monastery in Bulgaria is the tiny and colourful "Басарбовски манастир". 48 stairs hewn in the white rocks lead the visitor to the rock cells, where one may light a candle and admire a gorgeous view of the nature reserve Russenski Lom, which is all around the monastery....
The earliest historical records for this monastery date back to the 15th century and are found in some Ottoman Empire's tax registers. A description of a land property (so-called "timar"), owned by the Wallachian leader Ivanko Basarab, father-in-law of Tsar Ivan Alexander, is found in one such register. This "timar" is the first written document that mentions the name of the village of Basarbovo as "the Basarab monastery". In 1911, a Committee on Historical Remains was established at the National Archeological Museum in Sofia with its main task being the elaboration of an archeological map of Bulgaria. The famous Czech traveler, Karel Skorpil, who had carried out scientific trips across Bulgaria in 1887 and 1892, was invited onboard for the job. In 1912, Skorpil set off on a trip down the Lom rivers, visiting and describing the Basarbovo monastery.
The year, in which the monastery was left without permanent dwellers during the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria, is not known. The then-future bishop of Smolyan, Tihon, took care of the monastery in 1919, while in 1937, a monk named Hadji Hrisant from the Preobrazhene monastery settled there and started to restore the monastery. A Committee for the Construction of a "St. Dimitrii of Basarbovo" Chapel was established the same year. The first job of the committee was to build a monk's cell in the fenced yard of the monastery. The cell was consecrated on May 14, 1937 but it existed only until 1940 when it was destroyed by a flood. After the flood, Father Hrisant started to raise donations for the monastery and within a month, he raised enough funds for the construction of two cells against the church. They were finished on August 30, 1940.
The above historical information is taken from the site http://www.bulgarianmonastery.com;