Pelagonija, with its huge natural and man-made heritage has excellent potential for development as adventure travel destination. Adventure travel, according to the definition, includes physical activity cultural immense or clean environment. State statistical office measured that in 2015, Pelagonija has been visited by more than 62.000 tourists, out of which 41.000 were domestic and 21.000 were from abroad. Tourists in Pelagonija stay 2.5 nights in average or realize approximately 150.000 overnights annually. For touristic purposes, the region has 3.386 rooms available with 10.000 beds (private accommodation capacities excluded). These figures do not include the rooms and beds of accommodation facilities with a capacity of less than 20 beds, but according to the data of local governments that are responsible for categorization and registration of this type of tourist facilities, their number would increase the number of rooms and beds in the region only for a few tens / hundreds.
Main features of Pelagonija` s tourism product are clean environment, urban areas with millennia old history, active villages, vast cultural legacy, cultural and sport events and authentic gastronomy. In the region, main touristic destinations are cities of Bitola, Prilep, Krusevo, Resen and their surroundings, micro-region of Prespa and Prespa Lake and National Parks Pelister and Galicica. Also, touristic attractions worth mentioning are Pelister Eyes Lakes, Island Big Town, archaeological site Heraclea, urban architecture of Bitola, city of Krusevo, Marko`s Towers fortress, ancient city of Stibera, churches and monasteries St. George in Kurbinovo, Holy Transfiguration in Zrze, Treskavec and Archangel Michael in Prilep, Jovan Preteca in Demir Hisar, St. Ana and St. Petka in Maloviste. Most important events that have key role in attracting domestic and international tourists are Festival of Film Camera Manaki Brothers, Beer Fest, Carnival Procka, Actor of Europe, Apple Harvest, Festival of folk songs and dances Pece Atanasovski, Small Bitola Montmartre.
Pelagonija region has numerous active villages with defined touristic offer: Brajcino, Ljubojno, Dolno Dupeni, Slivnica, Pretor, Stenje, Otesevo, Dihovo, Maloviste, Nizepole, Slepce, Krani, Magarevo, Staravina. In these villages, tourists can enjoy hiking, trekking or biking in clean mountain areas, authentic cuisine, wild herbs collecting, production of dairy, honey and agricultural products, or during summertime, enjoy in sun, sand and water on perfectly arranged beaches along the shore of Prespa Lake.
The Pelagonija region is continuously strengthening its offer of sports-tourist events that attract domestic and foreign professional athletes and recreationists. Every year, in Pelagonija are organized national and world championships in rock climbing and paragliding, show and competitive motorcycle races, jeep tours, mountain running races, cycling, mountaineering and sport climbing. In the vicinity of NP Pelister and Krushevo there are ski centers Nizepole, Kopanki and Stanic which every winter season provide the opportunity for alpine skiing, tour skiing and boarding. For the fans of sport hunting in Pelagonija, there are a total of 49 hunting grounds, of which 17 are for large game and 32 for small game.
Pelagonija can rightly be called the cradle of culture in the Republic of Macedonia. The people who lived here have left a deep mark on their time through the centuries. Their culture, passed down from generation to generation and changed under the influence of the events that took place here, is visible today through the rich historical heritage: archeological sites, churches, monasteries, city architecture but also through the elements of everyday life. Pelagonija is a treasury and guardian of the Macedonian tradition and its inhabitants are especially proud of that. Today’s culture recognizable for the Pelagonija region is a result of the millennial history of this part of the world. Many civilizations have been present here, leaving a mark and contributing to the building of our identity.
The weaving of the culture and tradition of Pelagonija begins with the first settlements of the region in the Bronze Age. Remains of this period can be found near the medieval monastery “Most Holy Mother of God” near the village of Zrze, municipality of Dolneni. In the immediate vicinity of the monastery, a cave was found in a rock from this era, in which ceramic vessels made by the first inhabitants in this part of the region were found. Also, during informal excavations in this part of the region, fragmented ceramic remains were found. The culture of Pelagonija is experiencing a significant flourishing in the Roman era, a period from which today a large number of cultural remains are visible and which are part of the great heritage present in Pelagonija. From the early antique period in Pelagonija, the most famous is certainly Heraclea (Heraclea Linkestis), an archeological site that is located on the southern outskirts of the city of Bitola. This ancient city was built during the IV century by the Macedonian King Philip II. Heraclea is adorned with the remains of sacred objects, decorated with unique mosaics, which together with the early Christian religious buildings, the courtyard porch, the thermal bath, and the theater, place this ancient city high on the pedestal of archeological remains of inestimable importance for the Macedonian people and culture. of other European nations.
During the VI and VII century on the territory of the Balan Peninsula settled the Slavs who brought with them their customs and traditions that through a process of informal cultural exchange with the resident population, have been established in the contemporary culture of today’s inhabitants. During the Middle Ages and the Byzantine period, a huge number of spiritual buildings were created in Pelagonija, which still perform their function today and are an irreplaceable part of the life of the people of the region. Most of them, apart from their enormous historical and cultural value, still have the same purpose for which they were originally created – the practice of spiritual rites and the spread of religious thought. From the numerous churches and monasteries built in this period we would mention the monastery Treskavec away from the city of Prilep only 10 km. The monastery church “Assumption of the Mother of God” was built in the 13th century, and later through the centuries the entire monastery complex was demolished and rebuilt. Today, the monastery has a monastic order and is a frequent destination for visiting not only the inhabitants of Pelagonija but also a large number of foreign guests. The monastery of St. George in Kurbinovo is also a medieval pride of world importance in the Pelagonija region. The church that was built in 1191 is the largest single-nave building in the Republic of Macedonia. The fresco painting of St. George has unsurpassed aesthetic qualities highly valued by the world professional public.
The five-century rule of the Turkish Empire is visible through the presence of a large number of spiritual objects associated with Muslim culture. Mosques of exceptional value today they can be visited on the territory of the municipalities in Pelagonija. The most famous representatives of this period are the Yeni Mosque, Isak Mosque and Ajdar-Kadi Mosque in Bitola, Bazaar Mosque in Prilep and Hadziramadan Mosque in Resen. All date from the XV-XVI century.
At the transition from the 19th to the 20th century, many important events took place for the Macedonian nation, which then inevitably changed the Macedonian culture. The beginning of the XX century is marked by the glorious Ilinden Uprising after which the Krushevo Republic was formed for the first time. From this period throughout the region, and especially in Krushevo can be found artifacts reminiscent of the glorious days of the revolutionary struggle. The bullet foundry, the Museums of the National Liberation War and Ilinden, the monuments Ilinden (where the tomb of the legendary Duke Nikola Karev is located) and Meckin Kamen, today stand proudly and remind of the desire for freedom of the Macedonian people. At the beginning of the XX century, the current House of Culture in Resen was built, better known as Saraj because of its atypical appearance. The building is built in neoclassical style, following the example of French architecture. This building is just another proof of the large number of cultural influences that have spread to the territory of the Pelagonija region, and which in their own way have contributed to today’s modern life.
In the period after the Balkan Wars, a unique city architecture was built which is a mark of the Macedonian tradition, recognizable not only on the Balkan Peninsula but also around the world. Houses and other buildings built in this period, even today in excellent condition can be seen and visited in all settlements of the Pelagonija region and especially beautiful are the buildings on Shirok Sokak in Bitola and the city architecture of Krushevo.
The culture in the Pelagonija region is represented through the cuisine typical for this region. Delicious dishes are prepared today with the same passion as in the period of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. The most famous dishes in the region: tavche-gravche, shirden, zirconium, barbecue and various types of cheese and other dairy products are an inevitable part of the menus of traditional restaurants, and the table in the homes of the people of the region. Traditional customs are still diligently nurtured today, just as they were when they were created.
Significant cultural objects
Church of St. Dimitrija
The year 1830, when this church was built, is not just a chronological sign but an important fragment of eternity. Two rows of massive pillars, six on each side, divide the church into three naves, of which the central one is the largest. The central nave of the church is vaulted, and its ends rest on two rows of pillars. The multi-storey galleries and the entire church furniture give a special beauty to this temple.
NU Institute and Museum of Bitola
The National Institution “Institute and Museum” -Bitola is located in one of the most important cultural and historical monuments in Bitola, in the building Old Barracks. The importance and significance of this building is a result not only of its monumentality, but also of the historical past, events and people who stayed here. The most significant period of the existence of this military barracks is closely connected with the period when the cadet Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – the father of modern Turkey – was educated in it. The Institute and Museum Bitola contains a Memorial Room of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and a large exhibition of Macedonian history. The memorial house of Goce Delchev, the memorial house of Steve Naumov and the Memorial Museum in the village of Smilevo are also managed by this national institution.
Heraclea Lyncestis is one of the most important Macedonian archeological sites built in the period of IV century BC. by Philip II. Located on the most important road of that time, the Via Egnatia, Heraclea once rose to its most important station in the whole region. Heraclea is visited today because of the preserved amphitheater, mosaics, basilicas and archeological objects of invaluable importance. Old Bazaar
As one of the most important craft centers in Macedonia and beyond, during the 19th century, in Bitola existed and developed about 140 crafts or professions. Even today, some of them are located in the authentic streets, grouped in separate guilds with their own recognizable code and customs of work. The Bitola Old Bazaar, due to its aesthetics and cultural-historical values, has the highest degree of state protection.
According to the old legends, today’s Clock Tower was built in the same period when the Orthodox church of St. was built in its immediate vicinity. Dimitrija, in the thirties of the XIX century, although the existence of a clock tower in Bitola is mentioned since the XVII century. The entrance to the Clock Tower, edged with large marble blocks, is on the north side and hundreds of stairs lead to its clock, which is placed at its top at approximately 32 meters high.
Art Gallery – Yeni Mosque
Kadi Mehmed Efendi Mosque or better known as Yeni Mosque was built in 1558/59. This mosque in its appearance is one of the most impressive and perhaps the most valuable buildings in the city of Bitola. The most characteristic detail of the mosque is its minaret, which rises 40 meters above the ground. The Institute and Museum Bitola is expected to complete the complete restoration of the mosque by 2017 and to use it again as an art gallery.
The store was a real refuge for every trader who brought his goods for sale in the city of Bitola. Various goods intended not only for the local markets but also for the larger European markets passed through the gates of the Magazine and were unloaded, exhibited and sold. Today, the most famous Warehouse located in the center of the city is one of the many shops that existed in Bitola from the middle of the XIX century.
Arcade (Covered Market)
Located near the city center, Bezisten was one of the most impressive and oldest buildings in Bitola from the period of Ottoman rule. It was built in the 15th century by the Begler Beg of Rumelia, the Grand Vizier and famous founder Kara Daut Pasha Uzuncarshili. From the XIX century it had a total of 84 shops. Bezisten still has a commercial function today.ија. A variety of goods and services are sold in modernly equipped shops.
Isak Celebi Ibn Isa Mosque was built in 1506 and it is one of the oldest preserved mosques in Bitola. Opposite the Clock Tower and the Bezisten, this mosque, whose minaret is about 50 meters high, dominates the space. The Isaac Mosque was only part of the great waqf of the founder who also built a madrasa, a school, 103 shops, vineyards, 20 mills and other religious and secular buildings. The National Institution Institute and Museum-Bitola and the National Conservation Center are undertaking activities for the restoration of the Isak Celebi Mosque.
Natural Monument Marko’s Towers
The area around Markovi Kuli has been declared a natural monument due to its geomorphological and natural features. Markovi Kuli begins to rise immediately after the medieval settlement Varosh which is considered a harbinger of the present city of Prilep. The granite forms of Markovi Kuli are estimated to be more than 700 million years old. The highest peak is Zlatovrv with 1422 meters above sea level and the most famous geomorphological form is Markovi Kuli (990 meters above sea level) where the fortress of Tsar Samuel is located, the remains of which can be seen today. On the territory of this natural monument are some of the most important cultural monuments in the Republic of Macedonia – the monasteries Treskavec and St. Archangel Michael as well as a number of archeological sites that confirm the millennial continuity of life in and around Markovi Kuli.
About 10km. from Prilep, under the top of Zlatovrv, the monastery Treskavec was built, with the monastery church of the Assumption of the Mother of God. A characteristic of the monastery is the unique view of the whole Pelagonija, the mountains Babuna, Baba and Kajmakchalan and the cities of Prilep, Bitola and Krushevo. Treskavec Monastery is a complex complex of buildings that are still in the phase of scientific research. Based on the data known so far, it has been determined that the location of the monastery has been a sacred place since ancient times for the locals who are supposed to have lived in the ancient settlement of Kolobaisa. Today’s monastery church was built in the 13th century on the foundations of an early Christian temple or temple of the ancient god Apollo. The oldest frescoes in the church are believed to have been made during the 14th century. An asphalt road leads to the monastery, and it opens its gates to visitors every day until 19:00. The overnight stays in the monastery will be possible after the reconstruction of the burned quarters in 2018.
Monastery of St. Archangel Michael
Above the settlement Varosh under the Mark Towers is the monastery of St. Archangel Michael with church and monastery lodgings. Sometime in the second half of the XII century, the original church of St. Archangel Michael in its eastern part. In the courtyard of the monastery, as well as on the church porch, fragments of ancient times can be found. The monolithic stone pillars of the church porch are remnants of antiquity, and on one of them is preserved an engraved inscription in Cyrillic letters from 991, which mentions the death of the ruler Andrea. According to the inscription on the tombstone of Samoil’s parents from 993, this is the second oldest Slavic inscription in Cyrillic letters.
Stibera, or as archaeologists like to call it Macedonian Pompeii, is one of the largest ancient cities in Macedonia, and at the same time, one of the most attractive ancient city settlements. It is located near the village of Chepigovo in Prilep, and its remains lie on the southern slopes of the hill Bedem where at its foot flows the river Blato in Crna Reka. Stibera – the center of the Macedonian kings in the fights against the Illyrians is a city in which archeological excavations have found a treasure trove of movable archaeological material, which mainly belongs to the period of II and III century, when Stibera experienced its prosperity and most ancient sculptures preserved in full.
Institute and Museum
Institute and Institute and Museum Prilep has its own internal library with a rich fund of professional literature, as well as a photo laboratory which is a very important technical support service in the activities of the employees of the institution.a Museum In 1961, a permanent exhibition of archeological objects was set up, which is regularly renewed. The museum’s latest permanent exhibit counts more than 3,000 items dating from prehistory to the Middle Ages. The Memorial Museum October 11, 1941, the Kuzman Josifoski-Pitu Memorial Museum and the Tobacco Museum operate within the Institute and Museum.
Institute of Old Slavic Culture
This scientific institution was founded on July 15, 1979 and with its scientific research activity in the field of social sciences and humanities from the very beginning, became a well-known scientific center for multidisciplinary study of the cultural history of the Macedonian people in the context of the entire Slavic cultural-historical milieu. In its existence so far, the Institute has managed to provide a representative systematized material from research in the field of archeology, art history, history, linguistics, as well as ethnology. Part of the activities and tasks of the Institute are collection, systematization, scientific processing, presentation and publication of the entire material on the historical and cultural identity of the Macedonian people as well as research in the field of ethnogenesis of the Macedonian people.
Memorial Museum 11 October 1941
The October 11, 1941 Memorial Museum, popularly known as Uchastak, is located in the center of Prilep. The museum exhibit mainly consists of photographs, documents, maps, sketches, objects, partisan equipment and other exhibits with accompanying texts that present the historical events in Prilep and the Prilep region, giving the main emphasis to the events of October 11, 1941, ie the beginning of the armed uprising against the fascist occupier.
The Tobacco Museum in Prilep is managed by the Institute and Museum-Prilep, and its functioning is in cooperation with the Tobacco Institute. The Tobacco Museum is the only museum of its kind in the Balkans and one of the largest tobacco museums in all of Europe. The museum has 2584 exhibits from several areas: exhibits for tobacco use, exhibits from industrial production and manipulation of tobacco, exhibits from tobacco advertising and tobacco products, exhibits from the phenomenology of tobacco, ethnographic exhibits from the production of tobacco and manipula , a collection of laminated photographs, a collection of historical documents and a library of rare and old books and manuscripts.
Church of St. Annunciation
The temple is 32 meters long, 26 meters wide and 9 meters high and is built of calcareous limestone, with many columns on the north, west and south sides. On the east side, a wide altar space with an apse is built. The nave of the church consists of three naves formed by two rows of massive columns. The central nave is semicircular arched and rises higher than the side naves. To the west side of the church is the so-called “Women’s church”. The galleries are on the south and north sides of the church, in the upper part of the porches. The construction of this church in Turkish times was followed by a lot of perseverance and sacrifices by the local population and its consecration was performed 170 years ago by Metropolitan Gerasim of Pelagonija.
Marko Cepenkov Cultural Center
The Marko Cepenkov Cultural Center has been creating, preserving and nurturing the rich cultural heritage of the city for more than 30 years, which tirelessly gives birth and nurtures writers, painters, actors, musicians, visionaries. Central Committee Marko Cepenkov started its activity in 1979 as a House of Culture, with the specially prepared theater play “Torch” by Koce Solunski. In the beginning, the House of Culture encouraged amateur activities: folklore, painting schools, literary, drama and photo clubs. In the 90s, the House of Culture included the magazine for literature, art and culture Stremez and the Center for Contemporary Fine Arts. The House of Culture Marko Cepenkov grows into a Center for Culture with professional publishing, art-gallery and stage music activity. The Center for Culture in 2004 received the status of National Institution Center for Culture “Marko Cepenkov” and within it entered the National Theater “Vojdan Chernodrinski”.
The Clock Tower in Prilep is a protected cultural monument. It was built in the period 1825/1826. It was built by Said Aga, it is about 40 meters high, and together with the pillars and the cone at the top it reaches 55 meters. It was built by the famous Prilep mason Pero Lautz. Renovated in 1836/37 and 1896/97, and in the meantime a clock was installed in 1858. In the lower part, on the opposite side of the entrance, there is a fountain and above the front door there is an inscription in Arabic letters. In order to prevent the continuous tilting of the tower, its foundations are further strengthened and strengthened. The area around the Clock Tower is arranged on the ground floor and is one of the most favorite corners for relaxation of residents and guests of the city of Prilep.
Memorial house of Tose Proeski
The memorial house of the greatest Macedonian pop star, Tose Proeski, was opened in 2011 in Gumenje as a sign of gratitude and respect of the Macedonian people for the character and work of Tose Proeski. The building is spread over almost 900 square meters and contains 350 authentic exhibits from the life of the most popular Macedonian singer. The memorial house is open to visitors every day of the week, except Monday, from 09:00 to 16:00.
Monument “Meckin Stone”
This monument, presented as an insurgent with a high rock above his head, depicts the last desperate moment in the struggle of the insurgents of the detachment of the legendary Duke Pitu Guli, who gave their lives in defense of the Krushevo Republic. With the monument, which is a few kilometers away from the city center, one of the biggest and most epic battles in the entire Macedonian history is presented.
The Museum of the Ilinden Uprising and the Krushevo Republic
The museum is housed in an authentic old town house from the 19th century, in which the Krushevo Republic was proclaimed in 1903. Here are placed original exhibits such as weapons, maps, maps, photographs and other objects for the purpose of chronological presentation of the events from the time of the Ilinden epic.
Nikola Martinoski Gallery
One of the greatest Macedonian artists and academic painter, Nikola Martinoski, has created a huge number of works that are considered top achievements in Macedonian painting. The gallery is located in his birth house in Krushevo and in addition to his works, worked in several periods in the artist’s work, there is also an exhibition with an authentic Krushevo room. The gallery is open for visits every day of the week, except Monday, from 09:00 to 16:00.
Museum of NOB
It was opened in 1988. and it houses exhibits that testify to the People’s Liberation Struggle from 1941 to 1945. The museum is dominated by the Mural – a wall mural on the front wall, made by the great Macedonian master of colors, Borko Lazeski. The fresco depicts the course of World War II. The museum is located near the historically famous place Gumenje and the memorial house of Tose Proeski.
The monument of “Plum”
Another monument that is a symbol of the heroism and self-sacrifice of the Macedonian insurgents in the defense of the Krushevo Republic in August 1903. The monument preserves from oblivion the events from the Ilinden period which are deeply engraved in the soul and consciousness of the entire Macedonian people.
Memorial museum in the village of Smilevo
The exhibition, which is housed in the museum in the village of Smilevo, refers to the Smilevo Congress held in 1903, to the life and work of the revolutionary Dame Gruev, as well as to the activities of the partisan detachment “Dame Gruev”. The museum also contains an ethno room with objects and costumes from Smilevo and the Smilevo region.
Private library AL-BI in the village of Babino
It has more than tens of thousands of books, manuscripts, various documents as old as 300 years, unique works written in Old Slavonic, Turkish and Arabic, editions of books that have been printed in very small numbers, books confiscated and confiscated and many other works from the field of history, literature, music art and the like. An ethno room is opened within the library, and the first private amphitheater is built in the library yard. It is located in a house that has a traditional look and is itself a tourist attraction and an exciting destination for many domestic and foreign tourists.
Monastery “St. John the Baptist”
The monastery of St. Jovan Pretecha is located near the village of Slepche. It is first mentioned in written documents in the 14th century, but according to folklore the monastery was built by Tsar Samuel in 1010. The monastery was an important carving and painting center, but it is also known for its literary activity where they translated and copied liturgical books for the churches in Demir Hisar and beyond. There is an active monastic life in the monastery and it is placed under the protection of the state.
Monastery “St. Athanasius of Alexandria”
It is located 3 km from the village of Gjurce in a beautiful mountainous area. It is known that the monastery church was built in 1121 and completely painted in 1622. In terms of its architectural form, the monastery church is among the few in Macedonia and the Balkans. The monastic life was restored in the monastery, as well as the translation activity in it, and it was placed under the protection of the state.
Tatarchev Memorial House
The memorial house is a newly built representative cultural building in the city center which presents the life of the family of the national hero Hristo Tatarchev. On a total of 280 square meters, the house contains 8 wax figures, original objects from the 19th and 20th century as well as paintings with details from the life of the Tatarchev family.
Cultural monument in Macedonia and the most representative building of the old city architecture in Resen. Built in the early 20th century during the Young Turk Revolution in the style of neoclassicism and following the example of French architecture, in this building is the House of Culture Dragi Tozija. The Saraj also houses the Resen ceramic colony and the memorial museum exhibition of the most famous Resen painter Keraca Visulcheva.
A member of the International Academy of Ceramics at UNESCO, with more than 800 papers left behind by more than 200 ceramics from around the world over a period of 35 years. In that way, a real art treasury was formed, from which 300 most characteristic works are constantly exhibited in the Gallery of Contemporary Ceramics in the Saraj building. The shooting in Otesevo, except during the colony, can host world-renowned artists for the rest of the year.
Strictly protected reserve Ezerani
On the northern part of Lake Prespa is located the nature reserve Ezerani on an area of 2080 hectares. In 1995 it was designated a Ramsar site and in 1996 declared a strictly protected reserve as a habitat for about 200 bird species, of which 62 species are listed as protected species in accordance with the Bern Convention. Three bird species are on the European Red List of World Endangered Species.
Ethnological museum in the village of Podmocani
Private collection of archeological objects located in the house of Jone Eftimovski and is one of the richest ethnological collections in RM with over 2000 art objects: jewelry, weapons, old coins, household items and over 160 different Macedonian national costumes from all ethnological regions of Macedonia.
Church of St. George in the village of Kurbinovo
The church was built at the end of the 12th century, in 1191. The beauty and aesthetics of the frescoes in this church go beyond the borders of the Republic of Macedonia and are among the greatest values of human civilization. The representation of the Archangel Gabriel is the main feature of the church, together with the frescoes of St. Anne and her daughter the Holy Mother of God as well as the portraits of the Slavic educators Saints Cyril and Methodius. The church is located one kilometer above the village of Kurbinovo, ie 15 kilometers from the center of Resen.
Monastery of the Holy Mother of God in the village of Slivnica
The church dedicated to the Holy Mother of God, the monastery lodgings and the courtyard make up the Slivnica monastery complex. According to the inscription in the church, it was built in 1607, and in the 19th century a wooden bell tower and a closed porch were built. Monastery lodgings are used for overnight stays by visitors, tourists and mountaineers.
Hadzi Ramadanova Mosque
One of the most important monuments of Islamic culture which was built in 1592 by the Bitola Bey Haji Ramadan. In its existence, the mosque has been restored several times and thus the characteristic form – opus cloisinе has been preserved.
Memorial House Blaze Koneski
The memorial house of one of the most prominent contemporaries of the Macedonian literary language, academician Blaze Koneski, is located in his native village Nebregovo. Built in the 19th century in a typical rustic style, the memorial house contains a display of objects from the period of childhood and youth until the beginning of his schooling outside Macedonia. The memorial house contains a rich library of works by Blaжеe Koneski as well as works written in modern Macedonian.
Monastery “Holy Transfiguration”
The monastery of St. Transfiguration is located near the village of Zrze, at 1000 meters above sea level on the mountain massif Dautica. Archaeological excavations have confirmed that life existed on the site of the monastery and culture was created from the beginning of the Eneolithic and Bronze Age. In the past, on the location of the monastery there was a monastic settlement (from the second half of the IX century in the Bigorna Karpa) and the early Christian basilica from the V century, which further testifies to the monastery and the village Zrze as a cultural center since the earliest appearance of Christianity in Macedonia. The monastery of St. Transfiguration, built in the time of King Marko, 14th century is one of the most important medieval secular buildings in Macedonia due to its architecture, frescoes and continuous cultural activity. The monastery, to which a new asphalt road leads, is the episcopal seat of the Secretary of the Holy Synod of Hierarchs of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Bishop Clement of Heraclea. Within the monastery complex, a new monastic residence was built with a workshop for icon painting and woodcarving as well as a magernica.