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Travel Macedonia - February 5, 2006

February 5 2006

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City of Prilep in one version of local historians is so called because that arose - "stuck" to the more ancient settlements Varos. In fact, it's just his new, but much more extensive part. It was first mentioned in 1014, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor John Tzimisces.

Before the concert we are invited to visit the main attraction - the Monastery of Archangel Michael, while the base of which refers to the X century. Then, without a doubt, the monastery was a considerable distance from the city, but today the house rises to the very foot of the hill on which it stands. On the lawns between the houses which are covered with greenery in a variety of found peacefully grazing donkeys, which led otvykshih from communion with nature Muscovites unconcealed delight.

Donkeys and horses - an integral part of the Macedonian landscape and a very popular form of horse-drawn transportation. Petrol in the country roads - worth more than euro per liter, and unpretentious four-legged successfully replace cars, especially in rural areas. Not just by the roadside we came across trusyaschie slowly towards donkeys laden with huge bags, where the top and sat still until the sun burnt bronze boss. Speed of movement, of course, is small, but the Macedonians - the people in Slavic slow, hurry is not accepted.

In the ancient monastery of the Archangel Michael was male, but restored as a female. The first nuns came here fifteen years ago, the sisters are now eight. Abode is located on a steep hillside. By the gates of the monastery can be reached only by foot, on the cobblestone road. And inside the church to move from the bell tower from residential housing to the gate can only be on a steep stone staircase.

Monastery church two levels - around the XII century was built on top of an ancient shrine of the Archangel Michael, who served as the burial place of brotherhood and honor Ktitorov. In the church partly preserved frescoes of the XIII century with its typical post-period of Turkish domination "blinded" faces. As a rule, the Turks deliberately damaged the church murals, first scraping the eyes of Orthodox saints. Did they, following the Islamic ban on images of people or the occupiers simply unbearable to look at stricter piercing through the eyes of saints - remains a mystery. Examples of such images blinded by weight, Macedonian special leave to posterity the memory traces of the Ottoman barbarism.

Hospitable hostess Abbess George held a two-story sister building with a small house church, literally hanging over the precipice. The doors of all cells come to a spacious terrace, where sisters gather in the evenings for prayer and spiritual conversations. The terrace offers spectacular views of the valley, along which are scattered scattering of houses with red tile roofs and the surrounding mountains.

Already departed from the foot of the mountain, throw a farewell glance at the monastery. Only becomes appreciable made next to him on a rock huge white letters the inscription "Tito" at an equally huge five-pointed star.

Several singers of the choir of the Moscow Theological Schools was the same evening to go in another ancient monastery, sacrificing for the sake of a few hours of rest. Initiator trip was a young and energetic Lavra ierodiakon Athanasius, who seems to have gone round the whole world: he was in the Holy Land and Mount Athos in Greece, and Christian holy sites in Europe.By traveling through Macedonia, he prepared, probably more thoroughly all: the most we saw relics ierodiakon knew a little bit, but still had with him a map of the country, with marked her monasteries. It is because she became aware of the existence in the vicinity of Prilep Treskavets monastery where Fr. Athanasius immediately called the hotel. For the pilgrims arrived only inhabitants of Treskavtsa monk Callistus on the popular Macedonian Russian SUV "Niva": no other car, he said, unable to overcome a mountain road to the monastery. Returned to our compatriots, when it was already dark, before the concert, and the time spent is clearly not spared. Impression of what they saw they could make from the words of Fr. Athanasius.

Treskavets located near the monastery of the Archangel Michael, but getting there is much more difficult - if you walk, the path takes about an hour. To the V century on this place was a temple of Apollo, the VI century is the first mention of a Christian basilica. In its construction were used fragments of the pagan sanctuary, there were even taken the throne and the altar of white marble. The name "treskavets" means "crack" in this case - a crack in the mountain, and connected with the appearance here of the Blessed Virgin. Its icon, venerated the miraculous, is the main shrine of the monastery. Chronicles mention that at the very top of the mountain monastery once stood "golden cross with an apple." During storms, often in these places, he served as a lightning rod.

In XIV-XV centuries, the temple of the monastery in honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was rebuilt in this form it has reached our time. The frescoes that adorn it, the world-known and included in the list of protected monuments. On the walls of the temple depicted the Byzantine monastery Churchwarden: emperors Paleologo Michael and Andronicus III. Generously brought here and Serbian Kralj Stefan Dusan. On the former greatness of the once populous monastery is still reminiscent of surviving in a common dining room tables white stone carvings of the XV century.

Five hundred years ago, the Turks attacked the monastery, cut out three hundred of its inhabitants. More recently, the remains of the martyrs were discovered, they are revered as holy relics. At the time of Ottoman rule applies miracle happened here "with a dove." In all the temples, built on the Greek model, the right wall there is a high chair, with which the Gospel. Once, while serving the Turks slumped on the temple roof to the window and fired at the deacon, standing at the Department of the Gospel in their hands. The Lord took the hand of the slayer: arrow flew by, beating a wooden pigeon wing, decorated the pulpit, and the Turks immediately fell dead. Wood pigeon survived to our time, in place of the wing was repulsed by the trace, as if he had been scorched in flames.

Callistus monk revives the monastic life after decades of neglect. Obedience to the sole inhabitants of the monastery is the reception of pilgrims and tourists, whose number has since, as the monastery was included in the guide to Macedonia, has increased significantly. Every day, dozens of pilgrims come here, mostly - the representatives of Macedonian diaspora in Australia, the USA and England. Russian students in the face of the MDA came here, apparently for the first time what his father Callistus was unspeakably happy. When leaving, he expressed the hope that others of our compatriots want to touch relics Treskavtsa.

To be continued.

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