The Church of the Ascension of Jesus was built in the mid-16th century and is three-nave, with the middle vessel arched and flat pages covered with gains in domes. In the west is the gallery for women. On the south wall, above the present level of the floor during the repair of the church year 1963-64 was discovered a flat painting dating from the 16th-17th century. During the 19th century the church was given the inal look. In 1824 the iconostasis was completed and in 1867 it was part of the throne icons. The iconostasis and icons were made by cooperatives and traders from Skopje.
The Orthodox congregation under Ottomans was included in a specific community under Greek domination. With the rise of nationalism, the Bulgarian population of the area voted in 1874 overwhelmingly, by 91% in favour of joining the Bulgarian Exarchate. This remained so until 1890 when it was taken back by the Greek priests. In 1901 the church was taken from the Serb community and became the seat of the Skopje Metropolitan, Firmilijan and his successors.
The door for entering in the yard is heavy and made from oak. In the yard is a white sarcophagus containing the remains of the revolutionary Gotse Delchev.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).