Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / FYR of Macedonia

Skopje Monasteries

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Skopje Monasteries

About the site

Corridor: Sofia-Ohrid Road
Country: FYR of Macedonia, Skopje
Type: Christian religious centre
Epoch: Modern Times, Middle Ages
Theme: Christian Monasteries
World Heritage:
Modern TimesMiddle AgesChristian MonasteriesChristian religious centre

Church of St. Nikita near Skopje
The church is situated ca.10 km northwest of Skopje, on the slopes of Skopska Crna Gora, between the villages of Banjani and Cucer. The building was erected in ca.1316 with the donation of king Milutin.,The ground plan is inscribed cross with a central dome. The frescoes from the 14th century were painted by the famous Thessalonica painters Michael and Eutychios. Their signatures are left on the shield of St. Theodore of Tyro. During the period 1483-84 were re-painted the damaged upper parts of the church.
The icons from the iconostasis and the frescoes in the dome were painted by the famous local painter Dicho Zograph, 19th century icon-painter.

Church of St. Panteleimon in Nerezi
The church of St. Panteleimon is situated on the slopes of Mt. Vodno near Skopje. It was the main church of a monastery complex, and the only building preserved at present. The monastery was founded in 1164, by Alexius Angelus who inherited the father of his wife Theodora - the Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. The plan of the church is inscribed cross with 5 domes. On the lower parts of the walls of the altar and the nave are preserved frescoes from the 12th century, work of anonymous painters from the Constantinople school. They are considered as one of the most significant works of the Byzantine art from that period. The various scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and the Holy Mother are real masterpieces as composition, the lines are emphasised and the colour palette is rich and refined. These specific characteristics of the wall paintings of the church “St. Panteleimon” remind of the best works of the Comnenus art. The marble altar screen is also one of the masterpieces of the Byzantine decorative art. In 1555 the upper parts of the church were destroyed by an earthquake. After the reconstruction of the church, the rebuilt parts of the walls and the new dome were painted in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Church of St. Andreas near Skopje
The church is a part of the monastery complex, situated in the valley of the river Treska, southwest of Skopje. It was built and decorated in 1388/89 by Andrea, the second son of the king Volkashin. It is a triconchal building with a central dome and a narthex built later on. The traditional iconographical programme of the frescoes is a creation of Metropolitan Jovan and one of his assistant, the monk Gregory.
The frescoes in the narthex date back to 1559.

Marko’s Monastery
The monastery is situated in the valley of the Marko’s River, in the vicinity of the village of Sushica near Skopje. It is dedicated to St. Demetrius and the name “Marko’s monastery” was acquired by its donor, the king Marko (the first son of the king Volkashin). According to the donor’s inscription the monastery was founded in 1346/47 under the king Stefan Dushan and the king Volkashin, and was finished by the king Marko. The church is in the shape of a cross inscribed within a rectangle with a central dome, and a narthex with a blind dome on the west. The frescoes were painted by several painters coming from different art schools. Some of them are considered to be the followers of the Ohrid painter, Jovan Theorianos. In the wall paintings dominate illustrations of scenes based on church poetry and literature. Traditional Gospel scenes are also depicted, as well as scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. The disposition of some of them is quite unusual and differs from the well-established rules. In the narthex there are scenes from the life of the patron of the church, St. Demetrius, as well as from the life of St. Nicholas the Great. Above the entrance on the Southern façade is the donor’s composition, representing king Marko and his father king Volkashin.

Church of the Holy Saviour in Skopje
The church of the Holy Saviour is situated in the area of the “Old Bazaar” of Skopje, on the east of the Medieval City’s fortification. Only a high stone wall and a wooden Bell Tower above it show the presence of the church at all. In the courtyard a stone sarcophagus holds the bones of Goce Delchev (1872-1903), a Macedonian revolutionary. The church is three-nave building, with vaulted roof. It was built in the 18th century and got its final appearance in the first half of the 19th century. Its remarkable iconostasis of woodcarving was constructed between 1819 and 1824 by the well-known western Macedonian woodcarving group of Petre Filipovich-Garkata. The interior of the church is embellished with a rich decoration depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments and folklore elements.

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