Zrze Monastery is located near the village Zrze, approx. 25km north-west of Prilep. The numerous remnants of the ancient period-pillars, basilica remains, and other exponents speak of the rich cultural tradition, of this area. Traditionally the monks lived in carved out stone hollows, from the mountain side cliffs. This is believed to date back to the 3rd and 4th century.
Today, Zrze monastery complex consists of the church St. Petar and Pavle, the inns and several accessory rooms. The church has been renovated several times, and the painting is preserved only in fragments. In the 14th century, the church walls were painted with painting of extraordinary artistic value.
Dated from 1421, the icon of the Holy Virgin Pelagonitissa, now part of the iconostasis inside the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, is considered one of the last outstanding achievements of icon painting, a representation of the then still-living Byzantine iconography. Its author Makarije Zograf worked on the
icon in the monastery of the village Zrze. Makarije Zograf and his brother Metropolitan Jovan Zograf cared for the monastery endowment until it was transferred to Constantine, the village head (kmet).
Under the monastery are the monk cells, and their high number indicates the rich life of the monks, who belonged to the highest monastical order.
Zrze is a fully functioning monastery, in line with the faith of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.References:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.