Demir Hisar

Monastery in Slepce

Monastery in Slepce
One of the oldest preserved medieval centers of culture. Cultural Centre since the 11th century. Monastery dedicated to St. John the Baptist (Jovan Preteca), where the religious Slavonic books were prescribed even before the famous battle of Belasica, when the Byzantine Emperor Vasilij II blinded the defeated soldiers of the Macedonian Tsar Samuil. The vicinity Slepce got its name after the stay of the defeated Macedonia army.  The monastery had been set a light three times. The present church has been built in the 19th century. Up until now, the church has preserved precious woodcuts and two carved doors from the 16th century, the iconostasis and riveting dining room, as well as the entry door which was painted in the 17th century.

St. Joakim Osogovski

St. Joakim Osogovski
Imperial Monastery. The temple on the northeastern slopes of the mountains Osogovo has always been a favorite place for important people; it has been visited by many great people, even by the Turkish Sultan Mehmed II - currently this complex is the residence of the head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. Founded in the 12th century, it was devastated by an earthquake in the 16th century but was rebuilt soon afterwards. Complex with two churches, St. Joakim Osogovski from 19th century and St. Bogorodica, which was restored in the 14th century. This great temple, dedicated to Joachim Osogovski, is also a masterpiece by one of the greatest Macedonian architects of antiquity, Andreja Damjanov. This place is important because it was a living and working place for one of the most important Macedonian educators, Joachim Krckovski.

St. Pantelejmon

St. Pantelejmon
A window to Skopje. Rising from the mountain Vodno, this precious stone from the middle age can offer you a magnificent view of the Macedonian capital. Church built in the 12th century, hidden in a monastery complex which is surrounded with high walls. The temple has survived the catastrophic earthquake and, with few upgrades in the 15th century, has managed to stand the test of time. Incredibly colorful frescoes depict the inner conditions and struggles of the characters, where renaissance elements from Byzantine art are also visible. Out of the many captivating compositions, one is particularly captivating. It is the composition “Lamentation of Christ” and the explicit pain on the face of Virgin Mary. According to many experts, this work marks the beginning of renaissance two centuries before the frescoes by Giotto – the artist whose works are thought to mark the beginning of renaissance

St. Andrea

St. Andrea
Amber ornament in the heart of the river Treska’s gorge. Temple hidden among rocks on the shore of Lake Matka. Above the clear water rises a stone church that, like nowhere else, has managed to preserve most of the inscriptions from the time it was build - in the 14th century. Monastery of Andrea, the brother of King Marko. Frescoes that improved upon the Byzantine art, primarily through the introduction of elements of perspective, a skill that failed to be earned even after 2 centuries, when part of the church was upgraded. Today the temple is a favorite place to all who enjoy walking and being surrounded by the natural beauty of the canyon Matka

Marko’s Monastery

Marko’s Monastery
Monastery of the Macedonian king Marko, one of the most sung characters in the Balkan folklore. Church dedicated to St. Dimitri, imposing bells, massive wooden gate, quarters and oven - monastery complex populated by nuns. Monastery built in the 14th century, rebuilt by King Volkasin and his son Marko. Temple built of stone and brick according to the best Byzantine traditions. The porch of the church was rebuilt in the 19th century with money donated by the Turkish bashaw. The interior of the temple is fully painted, and the most interesting characters are those of Volkasin and Marko holding in their hands scrolls with their names. The original iconostasis, with stone columns, is completely preserved. This isolated piece of history is only about twenty kilometers from the center of Skopje

St. Nikita

St. Nikita
Palimpsest of medieval art. You cannot see the full richness of the paintings and frescoes in any church other than St. Nikita. In the lower parts of the walls of this church one can see the foundations of an older temple, which is partly covered with older frescoes. The date of construction is unknown, but it is certain that the monastery was rebuilt by the ruler Milutin in the 14th century. Masterpiece of the most renowned medieval artists Michael and Eutichius. With these frescoes they have managed to break through the Byzantine model of painting and introduce narration into the frescoes. Besides the Greek inscriptions, one can see Old Slavonic alphabet as well. Church of stone and bricks; monastery on top of a hill and one of the most beautiful sights of nature 

St. Spas

St. Spas
Wooden church. Temple which is recognized by the impressive iconostasis made of carving wood, 4.5 meters high and 10 meters long. The crucifixion itself is 7 meters high. Beautiful woodcuts are the bishop’s throne, pulpit, and icon stands. One of the most beautiful works made by the masters of woodcarving school, and according to painting manuals that helped enrich the sacred object with geographical ornaments,biblical and floral motifs. It is made together with the icons in the church, in the middle of the 19th century. Besides the Baroque, Renaissance, Gothic and naturalistic motifs, this masterpiece uses motifs from Islamic art. Inside the stone sarcophagus, in the church, lies one of the greatest Macedonian revolutionaries and freedom fighters against Ottoman oppression, Goce Delchev. The temple is near Kale, in the Old Bazaar in downtown Skopje.

St. Bogorodica Perivlepta

St. Bogorodica Perivlepta
One of the oldest churches in Ohrid, built in 13th century. Sanctuary in the heart of the old city and a place where one of the most important icons on the Macedonian territory was found. The church is also called St. Clement, because it is resting place for the remains of one of the major disciples of saints Cyril and Methodius, St. Clement of Ohrid. Cathedral of the Archbishopric of Ohrid at the time when the church St. Sophia was converted into a mosque. The discoveries in this church significantly altered the knowledge of the 18th century art in Southeast Europe; art that presents the last phase of Byzantine culture. Because of the use of third dimension, the masterpiece of Michael and Eutichios was nothing like the previous artistic products. Frescoes with astounding realism and dynamics with elements of folk customs. 

St. Sofia

St. Sofia
The treasure of medieval architecture and painting. Frescoes which are best preserved examples of Byzantine monumental activities which took place in the period between 10th and 13th century. Center of the Ohrid Archbishopric, whose boundaries stretched from Danube to Albania and Thessaloniki, during the reign of the medieval Macedonian ruler Samuel. Frescoes which depict fifty prominent fathers of that time, the head of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, six Roman popes, dignitaries of the Patriarcate of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, as well as St. Cyril and Methodius and their student St.Clement of Ohrid. This is a church which, during Ottoman rule, was converted into a mosque, but was later restored as a church. Today this building is a place for conducting various cultural chamber concerts, recitals and poetry readings. 

St.Naum

St.Naum
A witness of the medieval age with stunning view over the lake. Resting place of St.Naum, one of the best pupils of St. Cyril and Methodius. It is believed that his relics have healing powers. Magnificent church made of stone and brick. The church was originally built with the foundation of the monastery in the 9th century, but has been restored in the 16th century. Ever since, the church has survived with less noticeable upgrades. The frescoes from 19th century are depicting scenes of the miracles which were performed by St. Naum. Particularly interesting are the wood-carvings made in  18th century, which reflect the strong artistic influence from Sveta Gora (Holy Mountain). The remains of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic inscriptions can be found on the pillars of the Church. Dating from the 10th century, they are a mute witness of the beginnings of Slavic literacy. Wonderful landscaped complex that is a home to colorful birds of paradise. Located near the clear lake, close to the spring of river Crn Drin, which is covered by willows and accompanied by rare freshwater turtles. 

St. George in Kurbinovo

St. George in Kurbinovo
The modest exterior of this medieval jewel is hiding real wealth. One of the most important Byzantine monuments ever. The preserved frescos, dating from the 12th century, have secured for this church one of the most important places in the world treasury of cultural heritage. Frescoes with incredible authenticity in expressing inner drama of the characters. Part of the frescos depicting the Archangel Gabriel Angel from Kurbino, which has been found in the church, can be seen on the 50 denars Macedonian banknote. Situated in the heart of Pelister (Baba Mountain), near the village Kurbinovo, this monastery overlooks the unforgettable darkblue Lake Prespa.

Monastery Treskavec

Monastery Treskavec
Place of the thunders. Ancient shrine which has preserved two marble seats from the 2nd century, dedicated to Apollo Eteudanos (The thunder fighter) and Artemis. Over the remains of the temple, the Christian believers build a church that later became a monastery. Isolated witness of the past, wrapped in mysticism and thunder. Church St. Mary (St. Bogorodica) is from the 14th century and is built on a foundation of an older temple. The monastery, founded in the 12th century, has been upgraded several time and we can see this from the different styles of the upgrades. Treskavec, reachable through the narrow mountain paths, served as a place of refuge for villagers in the times of major uprisings and military conflicts. Built on a vertical granite cliffs and more than 1,400 meters above sea level, the monastery offers stunning glimpses of Pelagonija plane, and the mountains Baba, Babuna and Kajmakcalan. 

Monastery in Lesnovo

Monastery in Lesnovo
Cultural center that shaped history. One of the largest libraries in the Balkans during the Middle Ages. Numerous documents and products of literary activity from this place are mentioned even today in all major studies of the Middle Ages. Church of St. Archangel Michael has been built in the 14th century on the foundations of several centuries older basilica. Monastery dedicated to Gavril Lesnovski, together with a garden that was taken care of by the monks. Besides this monastery, located in the village Lesnovo (Probistip), there are four other churches and also few cave churches dwelled in the rocks around the village. These rocks are also completely decked out with holes from later period when local peasants shaped here their stones for mills, and sold them in Solun (Thessaloniki today). In the vicinity of the monastery one can see over twenty prayers written in the Middle Ages.

Monastery in Matejce

Monastery in Matejce
Church of hundreds of saints. Church in the monastery in Matejce had frescos with the largest number of secular characters put together in one place; In the Balkans, this is the second greatest artistic enterprise of this type. This makes the church one of the most remarkable monuments of Byzantine art. The walls are ornamented with frescos from the 14th century, in which hundreds of saints were placed in fourteen cycles. Original iconographic solutions, unseen in Byzantine art until then. Unfortunately, many of these masterpieces were destroyed. Only the scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary managed to be preserved, as well as the scenes of the family of Tsar Dusan, his wife Elena and their son King Urosh. Church of the 13th century built of stone and bricks, where important documents in the history of literacy in Macedonia were found, such as those that talk about the 19th century activities of Cyril Pejcinovic

St. Joakim Osogovski

St. Joakim Osogovski
Imperial Monastery. The temple on the northeastern slopes of the mountains Osogovo has always been a favorite place for important people; it has been visited by many great people, even by the Turkish Sultan Mehmed II - currently this complex is the residence of the head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. Founded in the 12th century, it was devastated by an earthquake in the 16th century but was rebuilt soon afterwards. Complex with two churches, St. Joakim Osogovski from 19th century and St. Bogorodica, which was restored in the 14th century. This great temple, dedicated to Joachim Osogovski, is also a masterpiece by one of the greatest Macedonian architects of antiquity, Andreja Damjanov. This place is important because it was a living and working place for one of the most important Macedonian educators, Joachim Krckovski.

Monastery complex St.Arhangel

Monastery complex St.Arhangel
The pearl under the towers of Marko. Perhaps the most beautiful church in Macedonia, part of the monastery located in Prilep. One of the most important active religious centers. It is maintained and served by nuns. Church built in the 14th century, on the foundations of two older churches - St. Apostle from the 10th century and St. Nicholas from 11th century. The porch of the church has been strengthened by monolithic stone pillars, remains of ancient buildings. One of them bares the second oldest inscription written in Cyrillic; it dates from the late 10th century. The site had also been a home to cemetery and settlements from the Bronze and Iron Age, as well as baths from the Roman period. Locals believe that the water flowing in the courtyard of the monastery complex has healing powers>

Monastery in Veljusa

Monastery in Veljusa
One of the most important places in the cultural history of the Balkans. The only preserved building in Macedonia since the 11th century. Concerning the church, St. Bogorodica has a wealth of historical documentation; the monastery is mentioned in the documents of the largest Orthodox sanctuary, Sveta Gora (Holy Hill); and is depicted in the works of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus who visited the monastery and was elated by its beauty. It is also mentioned in the works of the Serbian Tsar Stefan Dusan in the 14th century. This pearl of old architecture is preserved in the same way it was built. Artists used all kinds of techniques such as unique frescoes, mosaic and relief on the marble parts of the iconostasis. According to the ambition of the founder, this monastery is unique in every aspect. With its artistic values and precious objects the monastery is above everything else in the region Strumica.

Monastery in Vodoca

Monastery in Vodoca
Magnificent medieval center of the metropolitans in Strumica. Monastery that holds the remnants of several ancient churches since the 7th century, on whose foundations is built the beautiful temple dedicated to the saint Leontius in the 11th century, and to Eleusa. This is a site where more than 1,000 medieval tombs were discovered alongside with jewelry and ceramics from the 14th century - one of the richest archaeological sites in Macedonia. The paintings are dating from the 10th century and are still preserved in part. Some of the frescoes, masterpieces of Byzantine art style, are similar to those of the ancient Ohrid Archbishopric St. Sofia. Today, the monastery is open to visitors and they have quarters for monks and residential quarters for the visitors.

St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel

St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel
Church hidden in dog forest. The 14th century temple, dedicated to the archangels Michael and Gabriel, has been built in the mountain Skopje’s Montenegro. Close to the monastery, Dog River (kuceviska reka) is passing through, echoing the hauling of the hounds and symbolizing the name of the river and the forest; the river can be seen on the surface under the monastery. As is the forest dark (Montenegro), so are parts of the icons. The oldest of the icons, that can be found there, are dating from the 16th century and are depicting the archangels. Frescoes with an incredible story about the Judgment day, also depicting Alexander the Great among the rest of the sinners and other pagan kings. A wall painted with a spectacular imagery of Jesus, alongside with 110 scenes and figures, such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Plutarch. Preserved medieval secular furniture for whose construction a Spanish technique was used.

Fortress in Skopje

Fortress in Skopje
The fortress above Skopje. The highest point in the city had been inhabited since the Neolithic and Bronze Age, 4000 years BC. Remains of a fortress, built in the 6th century with stone from the ancient twin city - Skupi. This precious stone from the past is near the heart of the old town, Charshija, few minutes away from the main square in Skopje. This fortress offers unbelievable sight toward the capital of Macedonia. In summer, this place is a wonderful venue for lovers of theater and music, because it is a place for performing outdoor plays. Archeologists still uncover secrets which are hidden in the wombs of the hill Gradiste - the same hill upon which the fortress has been made.

Monastery Poloski

Monastery Poloski
Monastery of loneliness. Because this place is reachable only by boat through the artificial lake Tikvesh, this monastery is one of the most memorable monasteries in Macedonia. The church, dedicated to St. George, was built in the 14th century and restored during the Serbian ruler Tsar Dusan. Construction of stone and brick with interior completely covered with frescoes. Frescoes are mainly of 14th and 17th century. The church is known for its wooden chandelier dating from the 15th century, which is the oldest carved object in Macedonia. The impressive cross on the iconostasis dates from the 16th century, while the icons are from the 17th century. This monastery, located 20 km from Kavadarci, besides Lake Tikvesh, is also unique because of the immersing nature and garden of flowers.

St. Jovan Bigorski

St. Jovan Bigorski
Wooden miracle of the Middle Ages. This monastery is famous for its iconostasis, which is entirely made of wood in the 19th century. The name of the monastery comes from the fact that the building was built of limestone (St. John Bigorski). Church of the 11th century dedicated to John the Baptist. Locals believe that the icon of John the Baptist, where the saint has three arms, has miraculous powers. Besides monastic and guest quarters, one may see a museum where 70 icons are exhibited from the 12th, 13th and 19th century. The monastery hides remains from a 16th century church; big icons have been salvaged from this church. This is also the place where the movie Miss Stone was produced, one of the most important films in Macedonian collection of movies. The monastery is near one of the most beautiful Macedonian rivers Radika and offers a beautiful view of the surrounding hills.  St. Jovan Bigorski

Bogorodica Precista - Virgin Mary

Bogorodica Precista - Virgin Mary
The modest exterior of this medieval jewel is hiding real wealth. One of the most important Byzantine monuments ever. The preserved frescos, dating from the 12th century, have secured for this church one of the most important places in the world treasury of cultural heritage. Frescoes with incredible authenticity in expressing inner drama of the characters. Part of the frescos depicting the Archangel Gabriel "Angel from Kurbino", which has been found in the church, can be seen on the 50 denars Macedonian banknote. Situated in the heart of Pelister (Baba Mountain), near the village Kurbinovo, this monastery overlooks the unforgettable darkblue Lake Prespa.

Monastery Zrze

Monastery Zrze
Holy place since the Bronze Age. Monastery surrounded with untouched nature, oak forests and hills, just 25 km from the city of Prilep. In the 5th century this was probably a home to early Christian basilica. Besides traces of monastic life, since the 9th century, a cave church has been discovered, as well as pits, workshops, and lamenting sites from the 12th century. Monastery complex which today consists of the temple of the Holy Transfiguration, Church of St. Peter and Paul, bell tower, shelters and other additional buildings. Temple of the Holy Transfiguration, built in the 14th century, is beautifully ornamented with frescoes, some of them being five centuries old. One of the frescoes, painted in the 19th century, tells the story of a shepherd who saved the church from the Turkish pillaging. This is why the church is also called "Chobanska crkva” or “Shepherd’s Church”

Icon Gallery

Icon Gallery
Icons that stunned the world with their beauty. This same collection was insured for 50 million dollars by the Museum Metropolitan in New York after their visit in 2004. Most valuable and original works of the churches in Macedonia are exhibited in a 2000 square meters national museum. The gallery possesses the one of the most beautiful icons in Macedonia, "Jesus Christ" from the 16th century; the icon was previously located in the church St. George in Kurbinovo. Masterpieces of the painters, from the 9th to the 19th century, are a part of the treasury of the greatest painting achievements in the Byzantine period and the late Middle Ages. Original frescoes which, together with the icons, present the earliest period of the art with frescoes in Macedonia. The gallery is part of a huge collection of about 400 original icons which are being taken care of by the Museum of Macedonia in Skopje.
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