Osogovo Monastery is a Macedonian Orthodox monastery located near Kriva Palanka, North Macedonia, 10 kilometres from the Bulgarian border. The monastery consists of two churches including the larger 'Saint Joachim of Osogovo' and the smaller 'Holy Mother of God.' The monastery grounds also consist of a bell tower, dormitories, a guardhouse, and a residency for the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
The monastery was founded in the 12th century, though there are no remains of the original monastery. The smaller church in today's monastery complex got its present look in the 14th century, while the larger one was built in the 19th century.
The larger, three-nave church, was built in 1851 by Andrey Damyanov. It has 12 cupolas, which represent the 12 apostles, and porches on its southern and western sides. Most of the church's interior and cupolas were painted by Dimitar Andonov Papradiški. The smaller and older church, founded in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 14th century, is dedicated to the Holy Mother of God.
The monastery was founded by a priest from Ovče Pole in the mid-12th century. In 1585, during Ottoman rule, the church was converted to mosque for a short period of time after the bey of Kriva Palanka renovated it, though it soon became a church again.
During the Austro-Ottoman War of 1690, the monastery was severely damaged and was to be destroyed by the Ottomans as punishment to the locals for siding with the Austrians during the war. Legend claims that the Ottomans spared the church after becoming overpowered by some spiritual force.
In 2020, Serbian medias revealed that frescoes depicting Serbian saints and medieval rulers, such as Stefan Dečanski and Lazar of Serbia, were retouched and new names have been inscribed, which was not done in a artistically skillful way or with a permission of local institutions. According to the Spona organisation, this act damaged the whole artistic value of the monastery.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).