Macedonia – The cultural history of Macedonia abounds with extraordinary, calm and merged-with-nature places. One of the most important parts of Macedonia’s cultural heritage and medieval art are the numerous monasteries scattered throughout the country. They are known for colorful frescoes, icons, archpriest’s thrones, carvings, candlesticks and chandeliers, and handmade crosses.
The beauty of Orthodoxy, the silence and peace offered by these places will be presented through the following beautiful Macedonian monasteries.
Monastery of St. Naum
This monastery was built on the southern shore of Lake Ohrid in 900-905 year by St. Naum. It lies on a high cliff and its sight is directed towards the magical, continuous area of the lake. St. Naum monastery is known for its rich fauna, especially for the presence of many gorgeous peacocks.
Monastery of St. John Bigorski
This massive, majestic and breathtaking monastery is hidden among the lush forests of the Bistra Mountain and its beauty is complemented by the fresh water of the river Radika, which is located nearby and by the amazing view of Mountain Korab. It is located between the cities of Gostivar and Debar, and it was built in 1020-1021 year. The monastery has suffered extensive damage after a fire accident occurred in 2009.
The Monastery of Slepche
The exact year isn’t known, but there is a possibility that this monastery was built in the 14th century. It is lying in the woods above the village Slepche, near the city of Demir Hisar. Literary activity was developed in the Monastery of Slepche; monks have found many old Slovenian books. The beauty of this monastery is that it is a mix of the old and the new – the whole complex is consisted of the Church of St. John the Forerruner, new lodgings and remains of old lodgings, and the Church of St. John the Theologian.
The Monastery of Leshok
Just like the previous one, the Monastery of Leshok is a combination of several churches and lodgings. It consists of commercial buildings, the new church, two monastery churches – St. Atanasie and St. Mary and of the old monastery dormitories. Known for its treasure – old remnants and frescoes, it is truly one of the most beautiful Macedonian divine places. It was built in 1335 by the hieromonk Antonij. The Monastery of Leshok was made even more magnificent after the completion of the bell tower and the narthex (usually, the distinct area at the western entrance of some early Christian churches).
The Monastery of St. Joachim Osogovski
Another magnificent monastery in Macedonia and the Monastery of St. Joachim Osogovski. It is located near the town of Kriva Palanka, and it was built on the slopes of Osogovo. It is a combination of two churches, one with its foundation in the 14th century and the second from the 19th century.
The Monastery of Zrze – The Church of Holy Transfiguration
This monastery lies west of the city of Prilep, 25 km away. His beauty, among other things, is the prevalence – the original construction had stretched on a surface of 7 000 square meters and it was hidden behind enormous fortified walls and defending towers. Adjacent to this magnificent monastery lie the remains of the church of St. Archangel, St. Constantine and Elena, St. Atanasie and other churches. This is evidence that the monastery of Zrze was a center of the monastery life, rich with monastery skits.