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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Details

Founded: 1020
Category: Religious sites in North Macedonia

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ladi (13 months ago)
I was as a starting point for my Mt. Korab trek. I spent there 2 nights. Clean, quiet, friendly personal. Price-performance excellent. My choice also for next time.
Flet (14 months ago)
A must visit when going to Macedonia, especially when going to the Western region. This monastery is absolutely amazing and has a stunning view. The road leading up to the monastery is steep and curvy, so drive carefully. You can also take holy water and make a small donation for it. Definitely worth the drive, it is just peaceful and beautiful even if you are not religious.
Jimmy M (16 months ago)
This place was like a fairy tale! Firstly the location is stunning. The church is breathtaking, spent a whole day here was honestly hard to leave. Just feels so peaceful. Definitely a extremely great place for the soul, everywhere within the church and surroundings was magical. Highly recommend for everyone to visit and experience. Spend the day take in the history, stunning beauty and enjoy the spiritual calmness.
Nitro Computers (2 years ago)
The Monastery of Sveti Jovan Bigorski / Saint John the Baptist - Bigorski is one of the most valuable perls of Macedonian Orthodox Church. It is located in the western part of North Macedonia, by the road from Mavrovo to Debar. The monastery church belongs to the oldest preserved churches in Macedonia, built in 1020. The Ottomans destroyed the monastery in the 16th century. It was restored in 1743 by the monk Ilarion, who also constructed a number of cells for monks. The monastery was further expanded between 1812 and 1825 by the archimandrite Arsenius and later by monk Iov, recognized by some researchers as educator Yoakim Krchovski. This monastery church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist - Bigorski. One of its most valuable treasures is the iconostasis, created by Petre Filipov - Garkata, master wood carver artist from the nearby village of Gari. The Bigorski iconostasis is considered to be one of the finest examples of wood-carved iconostasis worldwide. Another valuable monastery treasure is an icon dating from 1020 with supposedly miraculous healing power. 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, Nympha and part of the Holy Cross. There was a tragedy in 2009 when part of the monastery was destroyed in fire. The destroyed cultural heritage was reconstructed as close to the original as possible. First photos in this review are taken before the fire and contain authentic artefacts and buildings.
Simone Lusenti (2 years ago)
Interesting spot tight on the road, work a 30 minutes visit. Great restaurant nearby.
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