Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery

Mavrovo and Rostuša, North Macedonia

The Monastery of Saint Jovan Bigorski is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. One of its most valuable treasures is the iconostasis, created by Petre Filipovski, and considered one of the finest examples of wood-carved iconostases.

According to its 1833 chronicle, the monastery was built in 1020 by Ivan I Debranin. The Ottomans destroyed the monastery in the 16th century, but it was restored in 1743 by the monk Ilarion, who also constructed a number of cells for monks. The archimandrite Arsenius further expanded the monastery between 1812 and 1825. The historical record also mentions a monk Iov, recognized by some researchers as the future educator Yoakim Karchovski.

Most of the old monastery complex was destroyed by a fire in 2009, while the new sections of the complex and church were saved. Reconstruction of the old sections began in May 2010 with the goal of restoring the buildings as closely as possible to their original style.

The monastery has a large collection of holy relics including John the Baptist, Clement of Ohrid, Lazarus of Bethany, Saint Stephen, Saint Nicholas, Saint Barbara, Paraskevi of Rome, Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha, and part of the Holy Cross.

Another valuable monastery treasure is an icon dating from 1020 with supposedly miraculous healing power.



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Founded: 1020
Category: Religious sites in North Macedonia

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4.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Simone Lusenti (10 months ago)
Interesting spot tight on the road, work a 30 minutes visit. Great restaurant nearby.
Slobodan Janevski (10 months ago)
Beautiful monastery with a wonderful calming spirit. Nature and silence that you can enjoy for days
Katerina Stefanovska (11 months ago)
A place where you forget everything, a place where your soul and thoughts are cleansed.Beauty that cannot be described in words, with silence weaves a web of beauty that fills your heart, eyes and soul. That is just a small description of the Bigor monastery surrounded by magnificent beauty.
aleksandar mitreski (17 months ago)
Must visit place in Macedonia. One of the biggest monasteries in Macedonia located in beautiful nature where you can find your peace.
Darko Starkovski (2 years ago)
You must visit it... No words can explane, visit it and see yourself. Fir me it was Great
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