St. Naum


On the southernmost part of Lake Ohrid, just before the border with Albania, is one of the most visited monastery complexes in the country.

The central and most important place in the complex is the church built by St. Nahum of Ohrid, dedicated to the Holy Archangels from the beginning of the X century.

After coming to the Ohrid region, in order to help St. Clement in the mission for spreading Christianity in the Slavic language, St. Nahum begins to build the church, but he also uses his exceptional healing power for every well-meaning person, regardless of his religion orientation.

Numerous legends and testimonies, over the centuries speak of pilgrims from the surrounding countries and from different religions coming to this holy place expressing deep respect and cult to the great saint especially in the days of the feast of St. Nahum (July 3 and January 5) and worship at his grave.

From the original Nahum’s church, today the tribelon is preserved, on which the Glagolitic-Cyrillic inscriptions are seen on its pillars, talking about the oldest Slavic literacy.

According to various sources, the church was destroyed either in the 15th and 16th centuries, or at the end of the 18th century by Ali Pasha of Ioannina. Its restoration began in the second half of the 18th century (during the time of the hieromonk Gregory), and in the 19th century (during the time of Abbot Stefan), when the present fresco was painted by the painter Trpo from Korca, who had previously worked on Athos.

A special place in the fresco painting is the painting in the funeral chapel in the church from 1800 with an emphasis on the life and miracles of St. Nahum and the representation of the Seven Holy Slav Teachers.

The rest of the church-nave and narthex was painted in 1806 and the whole cycle is one of the most important preserved frescoes from the XIX century.

Inside the church, a special art pattern gives the iconostasis itself, which was made in 1711 from gilded wood and carving characteristic of that time and the churches of some Greek islands, Athos and Epirus.

The icons of the iconostasis are the work of several masters under the guidance of the hieromonk Constantine and his students, which we see from some inscriptions.

The Great Feast icons are attributed to David (only two are preserved, the rest are stolen), and the Deesis and the Royal Doors of Michael from Ohrid.

In 1875, a large fire engulfed the monastery complex, destroying the monastery school and other economic facilities.

The monastery also suffered great damage during the two world wars, when most of the church collections and treasures were looted.

The monastic life was restored in 1991 and the bell tower was built in the complex and other auxiliary facilities that contribute to the continuation of the cult of the saint, of his healing powers and of Christianity in general as a religion.

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