Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon

Ohrid, North Macedonia

The original  Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon is believed to have been built when Saint Clement arrived in Ohrid at the request of Boris I of Bulgaria and restored an old church. Sources say that Saint Clement was not satisfied with the size of the church and therefore built a new one over it and assigned Saint Panteleimon as its patron saint.

Saint Clement used his newly created church as a liturgical building and a place for teaching his disciples in Old Church Slavonic and Glagolitic alphabet. Clement was buried inside the church after his death in 916; his tomb still exists today.

In the 15th century, Ottoman Turks converted the church into a mosque but during the beginning of the 16th century allowed ruined monasteries and churches to be restored, therefore, so was Saint Clement's church. The church was again ruined during the end of the 16th century or the beginning of the 17th century and another mosque, called Imaret Mosque, was erected by the Ottomans. The Imaret Mosque was torn down in 2000 with the reason given that it was constructed over the remains of a church in the Plaošnik area and the former mosque was added to the damaged religious buildings list compiled by the Islamic Religious Community of Macedonia.

The church stands on a hill which is now known as Plaošnik overlooking Lake Ohrid. Clement built his church on a restored church and a Roman basilica of five parts (the remains of the basilicas can still be seen outside the church). Judging by the architectural style and design of the church, researchers say that Saint Clement intended for his building to be a literary school for disciples, thus it is believed to be the first and oldest discontinued university in Europe.

The exterior of the church contains a large number of finely detailed mosaics not far from a stone baptismal font used to baptise his disciples.

As the church is one of the most sacred in North Macedonia, thousands of Macedonian Orthodox Christians gather at Plaošnik during large religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas to celebrate and take part in the liturgies.



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Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Religious sites in North Macedonia

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tomáš Forman (9 months ago)
very nice and well-known monastery, which is under reconstruction (only some parts of the interior)...the architectural style is very aesthetically interesting and the monastery itself is definitely worth a visit...a really nice stop after a tour of the city of Ohrid
Boglárka Tóth (11 months ago)
There is entrance fee, maybe around 3 euros / person. Inside there is a fountain so we could drink water. There was also a cafe/bar but we did not go in. To enter the church I had to wear a skirt (it was offered at the door) so my legs are not showing.
tskumar (11 months ago)
Nice architecture. Ticket to be bought and it's 3 euros. Combination of stones and colours worth visiting this place.
jeremy kalous (12 months ago)
Beautiful old church from medieval period. The frescos look new - otherwise I’d give it 4 stars m. Set in the archeological site inside the fort in the hill. Peaceful
Lizzie Smith (14 months ago)
Serene home of firmer monastery and medieval church. Certainly worth the D300 to enter. There was so much restoration going on while I was here. There is an active archaeological dig so many ruins were t accessible. The frescoes in the church, about 200 years old, were being restored but there were clever perspex panels showing the original flooring and fragments of original fresco. Outside there is an ancient baptismal font pool with wonderful mosaics. Plus it has top views of the lake and you’ll hear the birds twittering away
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