Condition of 100s of Macedonian Orthodox churches and monasteries studied

Skopje, North Macedonia, December 6, 2023

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A study on the state of Orthodox churches and monasteries in North Macedonia was presented last week by the National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the world’s largest organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of cultural and historical heritage around the world.

Over the past two years, 707 objects—more than half the total number of registered churches and monasteries—in all dioceses of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archdiocese were examined. For each church or monastery, a report has been published detailing where it is located, when and by whom it was built, and its present condition, together with advice for addressing specific problems, reports

Many holy sites are in a worrying condition, according to the Committee.

Concerning the most famous church in the country, St. Sophia Cathedral in Ohrid (9th C.), the Committee notes that the building is overgrown with grass on all sides and the wooden brackets of the exonarthex are noticeably damaged.

Regarding the famous Lesnovo Monastery, it is reported that the frescoes directly under the dome in one of the churches are almost irretrievably lost due a roof leak.

View the reports at the Monitoring the Orthodox Cultural Heritage site.

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