The Monastery of St. Andrea



This monastery of St. Andrea is located in the gorge Matka. This place fascinates with its beautiful landscape and the artificial lake with the dam that is one of the tallest in the region. Its designer when it was built, almost 100 years ago, was largely criticized that it will fall down. But he stood on top of it and said vigorously – “if it falls let it fall down with me”. So far it didn’t fall. Though some ecologists criticized that this lake destroyed the natural habitat of this area, I think it looks quite beautiful.



This monastery has a fist that is engraved in its facade – it is believed that anybody that could fit his fist in this engraving could turn down the monastery. The icons are fascinating though they are not so famous, because the people of the church were somewhat afraid of them because they depict certain violence that is untypical for this period. This church was erected in 1389 by the second son of kingVolkashin – Andrea. It was frescoed by the metropolitan Jovan (he also did with his brother Makarie the frescoes in the Prilep village of Zrze, in the monastery of St.Spas, that was erected by their grand-father: monk German), the deacon Grigorie; assisted by the kalistKiril and other monks in 1401. In the mid of the XVI century a parvis was added to the monastery, and it was fresco painted in 1559/60. This monastery is mentioned in a 1642 record of Menaion.

In this monastery the painters freed themselves from the Byzantine tradition – which was presenting the lives of the saints and scenes from the new testimony. In the monastery of St. Andrea they presented the full length figures of the holy warriors. They also modernized the perspective and the composition of the painting – almost until the level of the today’s comics.


by Igor Pop Trajkov

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