Marko's Monastery bears the name of Serbian Prince Marko who reigned at the time of its completion. Marko's Monastery has been active since its establishment. Construction of the Church of Saint Demetrius began under King Vukašin in 1346. The church, including the interior paintings, were completed 30 years later. Before Ottoman rule, the monastery had a school and many monks and priests would write manuscripts.
In 1392, Skopje fell under Ottoman rule, which led to the destruction of many churches and monasteries in the area. Marko's Monastery, however, suffered almost no damage. During the Ottoman era, in 1467/8 the monastery is recorded as having 20 monks.
Marko's Monastery contains a single cross-shaped church dedicated to Saint Demetrius. The monastery grounds also consist of lodgings, a belfry, a well, warehouses, a bakery, and a mill. The monastery still operates a special oven used to make rakija.
The church has a narthex, a central dome and a smaller dome on the western side. It was built of bricks and stone. The iconstasis is made of stone pillars.
The frescoes inside the church were done by a number of painters from the region. The Holy Mother of God, the twelve great feasts, Jesus Christ, and Saint Nicholas are some of the subjects depicted in the frescoes.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.