Macedonian Monasteries

Most of the Macedonian monasteries, built in various periods, and particularly those built between the 11th and 15th -16th centuries, have been completely preserved until today. Apart from the valuable fresco painting, after which the Macedonian School is renowned in the world, they hide in their ancient treasuries invisible records of the spiritual code of the monastic struggle that took place in here. Built on high inaccessible spots, near caves, far from human settlements, isolated in silence and hidden in abundant vegetation, with small monastery churches and quarters which could house small brotherhoods, in monastic skete-like communities. Often dependencies of the large Hagiorite monasteries, from which monks devoted to prayer withdrew in here.

The monasteries on the mountain Skopska Crna Gora (Black Mount of Skopje, which is named after the many black-habit wearers – monastics) and the complex of caves and monasteries in Matka, in the valley of the river Treska, near Skopje; the caves at the shore and on the isles of Lake Prespa; the cave churches on the shore of Lake Ohrid, the caves close to the Lesnovo Monastery; the hesychastic caves immediately below the Zrze monastery of the Holy Transfiguration, above Pelagonia, all bear witness to the kind of  struggle practiced by the monastics there. The struggle of search after the true knowledge of God: objective beholding of God by the whole man in the process of purification, transformation, and integration of the natural powers of the soul to the degree of deification.