Church of St. Clement of Ohrid

Skopje, North Macedonia

The Church of Saint Clement of Ohrid is the largest cathedral of the Macedonian Orthodox Church today.

The construction of the Orthodox Cathedral church, designed by Slavko Brezovski, began in 1972 and was consecrated on 12 August 1990, on the 1150th anniversary of the birth of the church patron, St. Clement of Ohrid. This rotunda type church, with 36m x 36m dimension, composed only of domes and arches, is one of the most interesting architectural examples in recent Macedonian history. The main church is dedicated to St. Clement of Ohrid, and the church below to the Holy Mother. One of the chapels is dedicated to Emperor Constantine and Empress Helena, and the other to St. Mina, the martyr. The icons in the iconostasis were painted by Gjorgji Danevski and Spase Spirovski and the frescoes were painted by academic painter Jovan Petrov and his collaborators.

Under the central dome there is a 3.5 m high archbishopric throne. The two chairs opposite of it are each 2 meters high and according to local catechisms, are intended for the ruler of the world and his empress. The Central dome has an area of 650 m². The frescoes are works of the academic painter Jovan Petrov and his collaborators. Uniquely, in this church Jesus Christ is painted on the surface of 70 square meters, with each eye having a diameter of 1.5 m. A departure from tradition is that the Old Testament prophets are depicted as sitting instead of standing. The second departure from tradition are the large windows. To avoid large amounts of light a crystalline acrylic is placed in front of them, creating wondrous rays of color depending on the angle by which the light falls on it. Lighting of the church is done by five tons hard polileum which is placed under the central dome. On it are arranged about 400 bulbs. The second polileum, which is in the middle, hangs over the altar in the Holy See.

The fountain in front of the church was a gift from the Islamic religious community.



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Founded: 1972
Category: Religious sites in North Macedonia

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User Reviews

Damjan Cingarski (19 months ago)
It's a marvelous piece of architecture. The frescoes however, although not bad, do not represent the orthodox belief doctrine in total. There are some western "Christianity" influences, such as the representation of the Christ's resurrection (exiting a tomb with a flag)... The biggest fail is in the dome where you can spot a beam of light from Christ to the Holy spirit, making this a Filioque problem (The symbol of the faith difference with the Roman Catholic church)...
Dejan Radulovic (19 months ago)
Saint Clement of Ohrid (Климент Охридски) was the best student of Saints Cyril & Methodius, who continued and developed on with their work. Clement was instrumental in ensuring the enlightenment of Cyril and Methodius wasn't lost and he brought a Slavonic influence to the teachings, defining the identity of the Orthodox Churches. Saint Clement of Ohrid was founder of the Slavic literacy and Slavic culture in Macedonia and also, the founder of the first Slavic university in Ohrid. Saint Clement of Ohrid is the first Slavic writer.
David Marin (2 years ago)
Great experience. Amazing church and beautifully decorated from all sides. From the moment you walk in thru the gigantic wood doors, you feel the atmosphere change. The whole experience makes this a must visit site.
Mariana Popescu (2 years ago)
Nice church! New, nice paintings, interesting architecture! Good faitful experiente!
Gjorgji Petkovski (2 years ago)
The remains of Saint Joanikij of Rakotinci are kept inside the church. God bless.
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