The church St. George represents one of the rarest and most valuable testimonies of Byzantine art in the Balkan Peninsula. Its fresco-painting represents an original and a unique peak of artistic mastery in the times of Comnenus, who ruled the Byzantine Empire from 1081 to 1185.

The church is located on the beautiful lower slopes of Pelister mountain (National Park Pelister) with a magnificent view on Prespa lake that connects North Macedonia, Greece and Albania and creates the only triple border on fresh water in Europe.

St. George church was built in the 12th century, in the village of Kurbinovo, during the reign of Isaac II Angelos. The decoration of the church started on 25th April 1191, according to the original inscription from the fresco “Honorary table” in the north part of the altar which is almost completely preserved.

The single-nave building with a semicircular apse is 17 meters long and 7 meters wide. It is the largest single-nave church in North Macedonia. The exterior, with its simple and austere architectural style, contains an unsuspected pictorial richness.

The fresco-painting in the interior of the church is divided into three zones. The frescoes illustrate scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary. In the altar apse, the composition Annunciation is painted, that has made this church exclusive and a part of the annals of the peak achievements of the Byzantine fresco-painting. Interesting and rare are the depictions of Jesus Christ and the patron of the church, St. George, from the north and the south wall, with a monumental size. On the west facade, there are visible remnants of frescoes with depictions of the unknown donor of the church, together with the imperial couple Isaac II Angelos and his wife Margarita, as well the figure of the archbishop Johan Kamatir.

The continuity of the importance of the church is witnessed by some later additions on the southern façade, as well as by the presence of a scene of St. Demetrius, on the north wall, executed at the end of the 16th or the beginning of the 17th century.

It is very likely that the church was abandoned in the 17th century. During the 19th it was rediscovered, and in the first decades of the 20th century, the wooden ceiling of the Kurbinovo church was replaced and a porch was built. The southern and the northern entrances were closed and transformed into two windows. These interventions did not damage the murals.

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Kurbinovo, North Macedonia
See all sites in Kurbinovo

Details

Founded: c. 1191
Category: Religious sites in North Macedonia

Rating

4.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

rob buja (11 months ago)
Macedonian monastery built in 1109. Dispels any myth by some of who we are and when we formed..
antonie onosimoski (15 months ago)
Nice place
Mende Lazarovskik (17 months ago)
An ancient church undergoing restoration.
Nitro Computers (3 years ago)
Unique Macedonian orthodox jewel from 1191 in Kurbinovo, second church on the Road on The Sacred Waters. Its frescos are masterpiece of Christian culture, depicting the scenes as they are living. Saints Gabriel and Michael are protecting baby Jesus Christ from the both sides
Off-Road Macedonia (5 years ago)
Saint George Monastery (Св. Ѓорѓи, Курбиново) located near village Kurbinovo, on the slopes of Pelister Mountain, is one of the least visited, but singularly among the most important monasteries in Macedonia. St. George church is small single-nave church which originates from 1191 and its fresco-painting represents a true masterpiece of Byzantine painting. The interior of this small temple, contains some of the most valuable murals in Eastern Christian art. The fresco-painting is divided into three zones. The frescoes illustrate scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary. In the altar apse, the Annunciation composition is painted, which has made this temple a true masterpiece of Byzantine painting. The depiction of Archangel Gabriel is truly impressive and it has become a symbol of the church Saint George in Kurbinovo. Part of this painting is depicted on the Macedonian banknote of 50 denars.
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