Osogovo Monastery or Monastery of Saint Joachim Osogovski (Осоговски Манастир)

Monastery of Saint Joachim Osogovski


Location: Kriva Palanka Map

Constructed: 12th century


History of Osogovo Monastery

Monastery of Saint Joachim Osogovski or simply Osogovo Monastery belongs to Macedonian Orthodox Church situated 2 km (1.5 mi) from a town of Kriva Palanka in a Republic of Macedonia. Monastery of Saint Joachim Osogovski was constructed in the 12th century by a priest Feodor from Ovče Pole during reign of Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos. It has two churches that are devoted to divine protectors of the abbey. One is named after Saint Joachim of Osogovo and a smaller one is dedicated to the Holy Mother of God. In 1585 this religious complex was turned into a Muslim mosque, but it was returned to the Christians shortly thereafter. During Austro- Ottoman War of 1690 the monks of the monastery and many local peasants sided with Christian Austrians in the war against their oppressors. Turkish commander ordered the destruction of the site in retaliation, but the order was cancelled in the last moments. Legend claims that it was due to divine intervention.




Sarandopor (Osogovo Monastery)
Geographical location, natural and climatic conditions were crucial for the development of civilizations. Archaeological sites, material remains and archaeological material confirm the continuity and evolution of life through almost all eras. In the third century BC we record significant moments in the history of the wider region of northeastern Macedonia and western Bulgaria. During this period, the city of Pautalia (modern-day Kyustendil) was formed on an old settlement, at the time when the Thracian tribe Denteleti ruled this area. From the data, more precisely from the geographical map of Kyustendil, we register the ancient name for Kriva Palanka - Remisiana. It is not known how long the name Remisiana for Osogovo lasted. It can be assumed, by analogy with the conquest of the surrounding cities, that it also existed in the Roman period. This area in the Byzantine period, with the arrival of the Slavs, had the name Osogovo. The area in the part of Osogovo where the monastery was built is called Sarandopor, it has Greek origin and in translation it means forty, and it refers to the forty ships, waterfalls and bends of Kriva Reka. The Middle Ages in this area have three developmental stages historically and archaeologically. The second stage is important for our research, when this culture was widely spread and accepted. The most important attribute of this culture is the founding of the monastery of St. Joachim Osogovski in the XII century, as a church - spiritual and cultural core for this region.

The history of the monastery St. Joakim Osogovski begins with the arrival of the saint in the area of ​​Osogovo and his holy mission of asceticism. One of the most authentic legends from Kriva Palanka, which has been present in the collective memory for more than nine centuries, knows about the presence of the Normans, who entered Macedonia at the beginning of the eighties of the 11th century. From those armies St. Joakim Osogovski was upset during his asceticism in the village of Gradec. That was the reason he chose a new place for asceticism. For that purpose, he chose the cave in the locality of Babin Dol, in the immediate vicinity of the current location of the monastery of St. Joakim Osogovski. Although there are no written documents for the church heritage and organization in Kriva Palanka for the period before the arrival of St. Joachim the numerous archeological sites in which more than fifteen are mentioned under the name of churches and monasteries support the assumption that St. Joachim came to an environment with a developed church-spiritual life.


The time in which Saint Joachim Osogovski lived
The only data available to science about the life, work and period in which St. lived. Joakim Osogovski (Sarandoporski) are drawn into his biography. About the time in which St. Joakim Osogovski there are several assumptions. According to Konstantin Ireчеek, St. Joakim Osogovski lived in the 11th century. With this he only confirms the knowledge of the first hermit among the Slavs. St. Jovan Rilski lived in the 10th century during the reign of the Bulgarian Tsar Peter, and St. Joachim, St. Gavril Lesnovski and St. Prohor Pchinski in the XI century. С. Dusanic, comparing the data from the biography, believes that St. Joachim was born in the first half of the 11th century and died at the end of the same century.

According to the biography, God decided to glorify his hermit and restore his holy place in the time of the Byzantine emperor Manojlo (1143-1180), after a change of an entire generation from his death, which means that 50-80 years have passed. If this time is rejected by the rule of Emperor Manojlo, during whose time the priest from Ovchepoli Theodore came to Sarandopor, it turns out that St. Joakim Osogovski died at the end of the 11th or the beginning of the 12th century. The Bulgarian academician Jordan Ivanov considers that the biographical data are the most important to determine the time when St. Joakim Osogovski. Since the priest Theodore, after becoming a monk and taking the name Theophanes, built a monastery church and placed the relics of the saint in it 50 years after his death in the time of Emperor Michael, the death of the saint should be calculated 50 years ago. .е. at the end of the XI and at the beginning of the XII century, life in the second half of the XI and the construction of the monastery in the middle of the XII century. The death of the saint Georgi Trajchev is determined at the end of the XI century and the beginning of the XII, and the monastery was built in the middle of the XII century by the abbot Theophanes in the time of the Byzantine emperor Manojlo Komin. The first opportunities and conditions for the development of the monastic life appeared on the field of Macedonia in the IX and X century, which developed the cult of the domestic saints.

The influences of Hermetic monasticism (solitary asceticism and asceticism) come from Byzantium. That was originally expressed by Ohrid. Monasticism in practice among the Slavs was introduced by St. Clement and St. Nahum. In our church tradition, two ways of realizing monasticism were built - Kinovite and Hermetic. Kinovite monasticism was an organized form of a community of monks who lived together in a monastery. Hermetic monasticism is characterized by a solitary hermit life, based on a higher monastic asceticism. Hermetic monasticism which was initially accepted by our St. Joachim is characterized by strength, will, and faith in God, and suffering, hermitage, and asceticism are only a passing thread of life through which the act of self-surrender to God is accomplished through self-torment and the pursuit of an all-encompassing intellectual love of God through spiritual asceticism.

The initial revival of the asceticism in the South Slavic areas is connected with the northern parts of Macedonia. Specifically around the mountains Osogovo and Kozjak near Kriva Palanka, Kumanovo, Vranje and in the Zletovo Mountains. Three of the four spiritual brothers had a fateful relationship with St. Osogovo. Jovan Rilski, St. Gavril Lesnovski, and especially St. Joakim Osogovski, who connected his ascetic feat and ascetic mission in the name of God and accomplished them in Osogovo.

The founding of the monastery
Apart from the life of St. Joakim Osogovski science does not know other written documents and sources for the founding of the monastery. The life of St. Joachim is preserved in manuscripts from the 15th century onwards. The transcripts are changed and supplemented with events, happenings and episodes from the life of the saint. The oldest transcript of the biography is kept in the Synodal Library in Sofia and dates from the 15th century. The biography has been published several times, according to the manuscript from the XVI - XVII century, by V. И. Lamansky in St. Petersburg in 1864. from S. Novakovic in Belgrade in 1867, by academician Jordan Ivanov in Sofia in 1931, by Teodosija Lekov in 1789. in Hilandar and by D. Marinov in Sofia in 1900. The last version was printed by Archimandrite Caesarius (abbot of the monastery) in 1912. in Sofia. According to the biography, God decided to restore and raise the place of St. Joachim Sarandoporski in the time of the Byzantine emperor Manojlo Kemin.


It was pleasing to God that the very act of building expressed the providence and fullness of the word. That is why the earthly life of St. Joakim Osogovski was a sufficient reason for God's providence to fulfill the word of the lobby of this piece of holy land, in a concrete form church, sanctuary, monastery. The providence wanted the monastery not to be anyone's end, and St. himself. Joachim to be the founder of his monastery.

The articulation of this holy act of construction was predestined through the priest Teodor from the Ovchepolje region. In a dream, through a vision of God, he received upon himself a sacred and shortened purpose.

"My Lord, I have heard of our holy father Joachim, who lives in the bosom of the Osogovo Mountains, in a place called Sarandopor, with his holy prayers and God's help, and this poor man wished me well in this place and with his prayers, Lord and our steps to directed them to the fulfillment of God's commandments "

"Go child, with the peace of God, with grace."

"Theodorod woke up in a dream and understood what vision and what blessing he received, he glorified God and the saint and did not say what he saw. And he came again to the said place, and dwelt therein, and said, This is my resting-place for ever: I will dwell here, because I have loved this place. Shortly after Theodore became a monk and was named Theophanes as the first abbot, he built the first monastery church with the help of the local population. The act of founding the Osogovo Monastery happened as it was written. Fifty years after the saint's death, Theophanes placed his relics in a sarcophagus inside the western part of the church, where they still express their healing and healing power. Thus, in this part of the Macedonian land, an inexhaustible source of spiritual core appeared, around which the church, spiritual and cultural life in Kriva Palanka and beyond with and through the monastery of St. Joakim Osogovski pulsated for 10 centuries.

Some fragments of the biography, such as the one that the abbot sang with the monks in front of the church, are used by S. Novakovic and some contemporary authors for the thesis that a small temple was originally built. What is that little temple? The smaller of today's two temples is dedicated to the Holy Mother of God, and not to St. Joachim Osogovski. It is assumed that before the construction of the Great Temple dedicated to St. Joakim Osogovski (1847/51) under the foundations is located in the first temple of St. Joakim Osogovski. Archeology and science in general have not yet defined this assumption. Were two temples built with the founding of the monastery in the 12th century and where was the first one built? There is still no answer to this. However, the oldest church building today in the monastery complex is the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God which dates from the XII century. The monastery of St. Joakim Osogovski is located a few kilometers northeast of Kriva Palanka, located on the beautiful slopes of the Osogovo Mountains in the area of ​​Babin Dol. The original location according to the biography is called Manastirski Rid.

The two temples, one dedicated to St. Joachim and the other of the Holy Mother of God are located on a spacious and picturesque plateau with the bell tower. The geographical disposition of the two temples, as well as the playfulness of the accompanying architectural ensemble, make it one of the most monumental monasteries in the Balkans. With the foundation, the monastery of St. Joakim Osogovski became part of the historical currents of life, part of the eternal meaning of the life of the people of Kriva Palanka and of their pledged sacred duty to build a monastery for their patron and protector and to sing the anthem of the eternal word of life. The true temple has united people for centuries and given them hope in the touch of eternity.


Saint Joachim Osogovski in the folk tradition
The deep belief of the people of Kriva Palanka in the power of St. Joakim Osogovski finds the most authentic expression in the collective memory which in a plastic way from generation to generation has registered and preserved many legends in which miracles, healing and protective power are expressed. The miraculous effect of St. Joakim Osogovski in most Kriva Palanka legends is associated with his monastery, which, as it is said in the biography, he took care of himself. Hence, the legends especially affirm the saint's protective function on the monastery, but also on the Kriva Palanka area, which nourishes the influence of the believers expressed through the psychological and moral effect of the interactive relationship of the people with the monastery and the folk tradition in Krivopalanki. St. Jovan Rilski, with St. Prohor Pchinski and St. Gavril Lesnovski, which is also expressed in the biography of St. Joachim Osogovski, where they are mentioned as "an honest four, a god-chosen company, hardworking workers of Christ, who went out with their hands to make a furrow and to sow seed spiritually, and to reap the ripe seed to bring forth the fruit of Christ. Belonging to the same faith, the same idea, encourages the folk tradition to accept the claim that they were brothers, at times omitting the spiritual bond that is the basis for establishing Jacob's relationship. The oldest Kriva Palanka legend, which was later transmitted to other parts and interpreted by various authors as Pchino or Lesnovo, except that it shows that it has spread. It has not lost its authenticity and originality with anything. "The four great ascetics, the brothers Joakim Osogovski, Prohor Pcinski, Jovan Rilski and Gavril Lesnovski, fully devoted to Christian teaching, decided to achieve this separately from the world in a cave in Lesnovo Mountain. For almost thirty years the brothers struggled, not succumbing to temptation.

After learning about them, they decided to separate and go to hermitage on their own. They agreed to have dinner and go to bed. Who will be the first to wake up to go where he wants, not telling others. The first to wake up was St. Jovan Rilski, who was also the oldest. He set out for the east and in the evening reached Mount Rila, where he stayed. After him, St. Prohor Pchinski, went west and looking for the highest mountain stopped on Kozjak Mountain, St. Joachim Osogovski went to the mountain Osogovo, in the locality Sarandopor, st. Gavril Lesnovski woke up last, saw that everyone had left, so he decided to stay in Lesnovo Mountain. The Kriva Palanka legends are closely related to the life of St. Joakim Osogovski, by supplementing and enriching the prices with motive elements, and even upgrading. Such is the case with the legend told by Prototheus - Stravorophore.

Dobrislav Boskovski, hierarch's deputy, in which the protective function of the saint on his monastery in the Turkish period is emphasized, during the patron saint's day of St. Joakim Osogovski, a large number of people traditionally gathered in the monastery to pay their respects to the patron of this national sanctuary and protector of Kriva Palanka. From Kriva Palanka, the Turkish pasha headed to the monastery with an army in order to disperse the church-people's assembly. He did not succeed in this, because the people put up strong resistance. Revolted, he reached for the relics of St. Joachim. As soon as he landed with his entourage in Babin Dol in the place of the Cross (Holy Water), he immediately caught himself, as if stabbing him with a sword. He ordered the relics to be returned to the monastery. At that moment he felt healthy as if nothing had happened. Shortly afterwards, he wrote a letter to the Grand Vizier in Istanbul describing the unpleasant incident, advocating for the protection of this holy place. The order that arrived from Istanbul referred to the direct protection of the monastery, with a ban on anyone being allowed to encroach on its sanctity. Since then, a Turkish sign has been placed at the monastery as a testimony to this event, but also as a trademark. The next legend, although based in part on a fantastic motif, essentially confirms the power of the cross and the faith, the saint finally coming to the chosen place - Babin Dol in the Osogovo Mountains.


Saint Joachim first settled in the valley of Kriva Reka along the left bank, in the area where today it is addressed as Pasha's mill in the village. Кркља. He thought that this should be his chosen place for his ascetic mission. Arno noticed that a fox had passed here. This will be a road, people will pass here, and I will not have peace, the saint thought. He went looking for another more suitable place. He headed down Babin Dol. Then the wicked dragon appeared before him. The saint was not afraid. He went forward with the cross in his hands. The dragon literally burst before the power of the cross. This place is still called the Cross. A spring of holy water immediately appeared here, which is healing and has not dried up for ten centuries. In the vicinity of the Cross, St. Joachim found the cave in which he lived in peace for many years, living a hermit life with faith and love in God. The legend tells how the locality in which St. Joakim Osogovski was named Babin Dol.

The Turks understood after the conquest of these areas about the strength of St. Joakim Osogovski for the great influence he had on the local population in Kriva Palanka, and they did not like it. They wanted to find the monastery at all costs and to frighten the monks so as not to spread the influence of the saint. Nobody told them where the monastery was located. Not far from Kriva Palanka in the east, they met a grandmother, suspected her and asked her about the monastery. When they did not receive any answer, they tied her up and tortured her, after which she told them to follow the geese and ducks that were returning from Kriva Reka and up through the stream and cursed God to pay them for their crimes.

Thus, the Turks discovered the hermitage cells of the Osogovo monks in the area of ​​Tsarski Dvori (today remains - walls above the Cross), killed the monks and destroyed part of the monastery thinking that they would destroy this national sanctuary, and thus the belief in the sacred power of St. Joachim. After this, the monastery became even stronger, and the monks proudly served St. Joachim and God for ten centuries.

After that incident, the local population called this valley Cursed Babin Dol, and then the name was transformed into Babin Dol.

The following story also corresponds to the biography. It contains two motives. One refers to the choice of St. Joachim Osogovski on the site of the monastery, and the second confirms the healing power of the saint.

The people of Kriva Palanka decided to build a monastery for their saint and protector. However, they could not decide on the construction site. The saint appeared to several honest people in a dream and told them that he had thrown his hermitage stick near the cave in which he was ascetic. Where they will find the stick - to build the monastery. The place was not suitable for construction. There was disappointment. The saint appeared to them again in a dream and pointed out a more accessible place, the one on which the monastery is built today.

At the place where the saint's hermitage stick was found, a spring with healing and healing properties sprang up, which has not dried up until today.

The folklore describes the journey of Saint Joakim Osogovski from Lesnovo Mountain to the locality Gradec in Kriva Palanka.

On his way from Lesnovo Mountain to Osogovo, Saint Joachim stayed in the village of Bastevo (Kriva Palanka). He liked the place and he spent the night here. Arno, however, noticed the next day that a wolf had passed here. "As soon as wolves pass, I will have no peace and this place is not for me," he said to himself. that the goal is here before him and that he will soon find the desired place of asceticism.

This legend emphasizes the spiritual mission of the hermits St. Joachim, St. Prohor and St. Gavril Lesnovski. It expresses the spiritual strength and protective power of St. Joachim on his monastery, as it is written in his biography, that is, that he will take care of it himself.


"They were three brothers, very devoted to God, but also gifted. They lived in a dense mountain alone, separated from the world. They had a vision of a son. The Almighty called them and instructed them what to do and what to do. After the vision, it was clear to them that they were committed to working for the education of their people. They decided what to do and went to three sides. Saint Joachim came to Osogovo, Prohor Pchinjski to Pchinja, and Gavril to Lesnovo. Thus the monasteries sprouted and became educational centers. In Turkish times, a Turkish pasha decided to pick up the relics of St. Joachim and take them away. Arno, when he reached the source of Sveta Voda, he froze. The saint helped him and warned him that no one could be mocked with the relics and the monastery. The pasha went back with the army and ordered not to touch anything that was a monastery. "(Observed in the original Kriva Palanka dialect, J. M.)

One of the more characteristic legends is considered to be the legend from the village. Gradec. The village of Gradec is one of the most important localities in the medieval history of Kriva Palanka, a medieval settlement from which the boyar managed the whole parish. Gradec was the most important way station of St. Joachim Osogovski before coming to Osogovo.

In the village of Gradec, from the lower parts, an old man arrived on a donkey. For his ascetic mission he chose a place in today's neighborhood Petkovci, at the top of the village. It was a cave in which one entered on one's knees. He also dug a place for his donkey in the rocks. A trail of hooves still exists carved into a rock next to the cave. The local population understood about the old man. In order to be able to dedicate himself to God in peace, he retreated during the day to the deep forests towards the village of Bastevo and in the evening he returned to spend the night in the cave. A warlike tribe was passing through these areas, and the old man felt that his asceticism was disturbed. He took a bow and arrow, and threw the arrow high into the heavens. The arrow fell far to the east. The old man found her in the area of ​​Babin Dol. He liked the place very much and decided to stay here. Even so, he remained there for the rest of his life.

This legend is supplemented by what according to St. Joachim, before arriving in the village. Gradec, as if he lived for a short time in the village. Martinique.

The iconostasis in the Great Monastery Church dates back to 1932. Then Dimitar Andonov-Papradiski was hired again by the monastery administration and the abbot Metodija Milovanovi., Who developed the conceptual and constructive solution for the iconostasis.

The previous iconostasis was damaged by the ravages of time and by the fall of a large rock on the south wall of the church.

An aesthetically light construction of the iconostasis was performed that year. The works under the supervision of Papradiski were performed by Stojan Trajkovski, a master from the village of Krklja, Kriva Palanka region. The iconostasis is three-storied and extends the entire width of the interior (nave) from the north to the south wall. It is processed simply, with the exception of the royal doors, which are made in carving of modest quality and are painted in gold.

It is shaped simply, with wooden elements slightly profiled at the edges. The large cross and the final wreath of the iconostasis are also carved. Most of the iconostasis icons were made by Dimitar Andonov-Papradiski, and some by unknown authors. Eight icons for the iconostasis were made by Nikola Mihailov, a painter from Krushevo, which are characterized by very striking robustness and expressiveness in the expression of the faces, which is achieved through the emphasized contrasting color relations of dark and light green cold gamma. More characteristic icons made by Nikola Mihailov, according to the year of dating 1869, are those of the Transfiguration of Christ and of St. John the Forerunner. Mihailov also made 18 icons for the iconostasis in the small church of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God. In 1980, the royal doors were conserved. This process was performed by conservators Bogdan Tanevski and Sokole Sutinovski.

Belfry with ossuary
The bell tower was built in 1929. This is confirmed by the inscription above the front door in the porch, as well as the documents from the monastery archive.


Basically, the bell tower has the shape of a square. It consists of four levels: basement (ossuary), ground floor and two floors. The ground floor and the first floor of the bell tower are made of slab stone with carved corner stones. The second floor is of bundruk construction, with white plastered walls. In the façade design there are arched doors and a window on the ground floor, one centrally placed window on each side of the first and second floor, as well as rows of small rectangular openings under the eaves. The ground floor of the bell tower is entered from the west side, through a narrow approach above the steep bank below the level of the church. It contains two rooms, one of which is buried in a rock under the Church, and the other is at the level of the Church and from it descends the wooden room through the wooden stairs. These two levels of the building acted as an ossuary, in which the bones of the elders and the monks of the monastery were transferred.

So far, no cemetery has been discovered in the monastery, except for a small area behind the high-facade lodge at the time of its extension, where bones of human skeletons have been found. The fact that the monastery does not have its own cemetery, except for the limited area for burial behind the Church and in front of the bell tower, is the answer to the riddle of the ossuary function.

The first floor of the bell tower, which is accessed from the south porch, had the function of a confessional. Occasionally it served as both a living room and a baptistery. External wooden stairs lead to the level of the second floor by the porch and here are the two bells of the bell tower.

The Church of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God
Northeast of the Great Cathedral of St. Joachim Osogovski in the immediate vicinity, there is a smaller and older church dedicated to the birth of the Holy Mother of God.

This church Antonis Nikolovski (after research in St. Joachim Osogovski) dates it from the XIV or XVI, ie XVII century.

Written sources say that there was a church built on this place in the XI century, but these facts were not scientifically confirmed until 1977. That year, an expert team from the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, led by Jovan Petrov, MA, performed conservation work in the church of the Holy Mother of God, and significant results were achieved. The foundations of the church built in the XI-XII century were discovered, as well as parts of the frescoes. There are three upgrades in its construction. Parts of the east and north walls have been preserved from the original church. Jovan Petrov assumes that this church belongs to the fragmentarily preserved frescoes on the north wall of the altar, which is located under a 19th century fresco. Most likely, the church was rebuilt in the 14th century on the old foundations when it was painted. This is evidenced by the preserved fragments of the north, east and south walls of the nave in the lower zones.

In the Turkish period the church suffered from two disasters. It was affected by fire, which is confirmed by the damaged fresco fragments and the smoky walls. In 1585, Kriva Palanka was hit by an earthquake. At that time, the dome of the church and part of the arches probably collapsed. Written data from 1643 show that at the end of the XVI and the first half of the XVII century the church was rebuilt. This is confirmed by the features of the preserved architecture.

In the 19th century, the church was remodeled and rebuilt into the upper partitions, following the building style of the previous period. Then the deaconry on the southeast leg was added with an entrance from the south, and on the west side the narthex (narthex) with a flat wooden construction in which two smaller blind domes are built. Above the central part of the nave, the dome received a high drum.

With the extension of the narthex, it acquires a more significant function. A space is formed with the source of holy water and space for candles. The sacred dignity of the church is emphasized, as well as the sense of belonging of everyone who enters it.

Although these are seemingly simple extensions that follow the continuity through the opus of construction, harmony of the architectural idea and a new dimension of drama of the composition have been achieved.

With these interventions is presented the possible variant of the church from its phase of renewal from the XI century.


The last phase of its restoration took place in 1990. The disproportionate dome above the central part placed on pendants with an eight-sided drum was demolished and a new dome was built according to the principle of analogy, which corresponds to the restoration phase of the 14th century. Then the church was partially covered with copper and mostly with tiles, and in 1995 this solution was abandoned and the whole was covered with copper. The works on the dome were performed by a team from the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments.

Unfortunately, the research work on this church building did not continue until today, which would provide complete information about its history.

The Church of the Holy Mother of God, according to the construction concept, belongs to the order of small cruciform single-domed churches, with a free cross base, with a three-sided apse on the outside and a narthex.

The building is characterized by Byzantine style. It is built with two rows of bricks, one row of stone in horizontal rows with a thick layer of plaster between them. Inside the church is paved with stone tiles.

The nave is illuminated with rectangular windows, which in the upper phase have a semicircular shape. Two windows have the shape of a four-leaf clover. On the west wall of the narthex there is a larger window in relation to the dimension of the mentioned, which has the function to illuminate the space of the holy water. In zone III in the pendants are represented the four evangelists with synonyms (St. Luke, St. Mark, St. John and St. Matthew). On the east and west sides, the holy eunuch (east) and the bright shroud (west) are represented among the evangelists. In the dome space, ie under the arches, the righteous fathers are represented, as follows: Saint righteous Moses, St. righteous Joseph, St. righteous father Joachim, st. righteous father James, St. righteous father Simeon and St. righteous father Adam.

The festive scenes are expressed in zone II. On the south side there is a scene from the Nativity of Christ, on the west side there is a scene from the Assumption of the Mother of God, and on the north side there is a scene from the Crucifixion of Christ.

Between the festive scenes of the pilasters are presented St. Cyril and St. Methodius, as well as the martyrs St. Petka and St. Zlata Meglenska.

In zone I, on the south side, are presented the Holy Mother of God with Jesus Christ (mercy) and Saint Joachim Osogovski. On the same south side in the window are painted the three silversmiths - St. Kuzman, St. Damian and St. Panteleimon.

The two archangels, Archangel Michael and Archangel Gabriel, are represented on the west side. On the north side are represented the three fathers: St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom. The pilasters in the first zone represent St. Clement, St. Nahum, St. Great Martyr George and St. Nikola.

The fresco decoration is performed in a modern painting technique on a specially prepared surface. The peculiarity of the frescoes in this church is that the background is dominated by the blue color in lapis lazuli, which is a characteristic of the classical period.

The color of the characters is dominated by green, blush and ocher. The oracles and the Gospels are gilded with gold leaflets.

The painters paid special attention to the typology of the characters of the saints, consulting literature and emulating the examples from the classical period.

From the new fresco ensemble in the church of the Holy Mother of God, a special impression. leaves the monumentality of the three festive scenes, in which the image of the Holy Mother of God is presented noble with an expression of pain. Unlike scenes in which emotional elements are present, the other saints look calm and dignified.

The figure of the Pantocrator impresses in the dome with a stern, calm and pious look.

The image of St. Joachim Osogovski is presented in the spirit of the painting tradition of the XIX century, as it is presented by Dimitrija Andonov Papradiski in the Great Monastery Church.

The draperies are painted in the style of the characters, in a strict canon, typologically with characteristics of the classical period.

The iconostasis in the church of the Holy Mother of God has been restored. A new frame construction was made for the iconostasis in 1998, on which fragments of the old iconostasis, the existing imperial doors and the large cross with the accompanying icons are given. The works on the iconostasis were performed by the master Kole Taskov from Kriva Palanka. The new iconostasis is a donation of Stojance Tanic from Kriva Palanka.


The large iconostasis is divided into IV zones. In the fourth zone is the Great Cross. In the third zone are placed the icons of Jesus Christ and the Holy Mother of God, of St. John the Baptist and six icons of the apostles. The second zone consists of nine holiday icons. The throne icons and the royal doors are placed in the first zone. The icons built into the iconostasis are the work of several masters. Seven icons are the work of Dimitar Andonov Papradiski. According to Antonio Nikoloski, by order of the abbot of the monastery Averikij in 1869, the painter Nikola Mihailov from Krushevo purposefully made eighteen icons for the iconostasis.

Accompanying architectural ensemble
The monastery of St. Joachim Osogovski from the very beginning in the XII century developed into a monastery with a rich content of churches and chapels, which is evidenced by the Turkish census of 1570. Its multifaceted function as a church, spiritual, educational and cultural center and a roadside oasis for caravans and well-intentioned people has been a condition for the construction of many ancillary buildings throughout its history.

This multifaceted function activated the need to accommodate, above all, the numerous monastic community. Such an arrangement and organization of the monastic life would be unthinkable if it were not for the lodgings.

Old lodging complex - Bini
This old lodging complex can be called a complex lodging complex. It was located east behind the monastery, in today's large parking lot. The preserved photographs show that it had the shape of a broken letter "G". One leg of the lodge reached the rocky wall, high to the foot of today's lodge. Below it, at the level of the access road, cascaded down to the present-day natural road below the level of the parking lot at the height of the barn, even lower. was guarded by a large massive wooden gate.

In 1911, this lodging complex was completely destroyed in a fire.

The preserved photographs show that the lodgings were built in a traditional bondruk construction. In the shaping of the facades, features from the old Kriva Palanka house can be seen. It was the seat of the abbot of the monastery. It was an older residence than today's renovated old residence. The fact that a library was located here is in favor of the revival function of the monastery and the functioning of the church-cell school.

Old boarding house
The old inn occupies a western position in relation to the two churches on a dominant elevation. With the remnants of the protective turret overhanging it, this lodge marks the end boundary of the complex from the west.

The object has a strongly elongated rectangular shape and with its longer axis lies parallel to the isohypses. Otherwise, in height, the lodging develops through four levels: basement, ground floor and two floors. The hostel has two independent approaches. Both are on the south side, one on the top floor, the other on the ground floor.

The old inn was organized like this: cellars in the lowest basement level; economic premises and stables on the ground floor; monastic cells on the first floor; on the top floor are located the bishop, ie the chamber of the abbot; the guest room, the so-called "Kochani odeja", and the common dining room with the monastery magjernica (kitchen).

Construction of this inn began in 1864 and was completed in 1905. Built in a combination of stone, beams and plywood, it lasted fifty years. It was renovated in the period 1974-1986.

Today is the place for the biggest cultural events: the Art Colony and the School of Architecture. The Art Gallery is also located here.

The renovation of the hostel was carried out with an architectural solution and expert supervision of Lazar Shumanov, curator-advisor at the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments.

Hostel with high facade
This residence was built in the first decades of the XIX century, which can be deduced from the style of construction. The name "Passage building" (provincial speech) is also used for it. It has the function of a lodging-dining room. As a rule, the monks and the host of the monastery have been living in it lately. There is also the working room of the elder of the monastery and the monastery guardianship.Inside, several guest rooms have been rearranged, and on the ground floor for well-wishers.


It was built by local craftsmen who used local materials. The steep terrain on which it is built suggests a massive and masonry construction of slab stone connected with mortar. The ground floor is dominated by stone, while the first floor is made of stone and brick. The floors and the ceiling are made of planks, and the ceiling in the working room is made of wood.

The facade of the inn - high facade is solved simply with white color that dominates, suggests calm and aesthetic simplicity.

In 1995, a kitchen with a dining room was added to this building.

Vladik's residence
The bishop's residence is located on the highest monastery plateau (cathedral), on an elevation that dominates the complex above the cascading steep rocky shore above the Great Monastery Church. This location of the inn provides a view over the two churches and almost the entire complex.

It got its name from the idea of ​​construction and the function that has remained until today. The old inn, in which besides the monks and guests stayed, did not fully meet the conditions for the realization of the monastery organization and for the residence of the bishop.

According to the data in the monastery archive, the inn was built in the period 1936/37 by local masters.

The building has a rectangular shape and is developed on two levels - ground floor and first floor. The bishop's quarters is a building of solid construction with a wooden mezzanine construction. In the lower parts the walls are very thick and are considered to be made of stone, while on the first floor they are thinner and made of brick.

On the ground floor are the entrance porch and stairs, the large dining room which occupies more than half of the ground floor and rooms for monks and clergy.

The rooms are placed on the first floor of the gallery, which provides equal southwest orientation and a beautiful view. Next to the stairs, on the right, is the residence of the bishop, which consists of a room for sleeping and resting and a reception room connected to a terrace located on the very corner of the building, from where a beautiful view of the entire monastery complex. Upstairs there are four more rooms, a bathroom and a small kitchen.

Konak "Ploницаanica"
The "Plochanica" lodge, or watchtower, was named after its former stone slab. It is believed to have been built in 1899 on the highest level of the high plateau (upper cathedral), at the foot of the stairs leading to the monastery complex. from the direction of the village Varovishte.

For a long time he was in control of the entrance of the guests to the monastery from that position. In accordance with the function, the "Ploницаanica" lodging has a view of the entrance to the gathering place, the Bishop's lodging, the 1917 lodging, the porches and the small master house.

This building with modest dimensions has a cellar on the ground floor and on the first floor a watchtower and an apartment - a cell (monastic room).

The building is built simply with solid stone. The walls are made of slab stone and mortar.

Today the building inside has been renovated and has the function of a guest house for monastery guests.

The baptistery chapel is located on the highest plateau (upper cathedral), outside the complex, near the stairs leading to the lodge "Plochanica", at the foot of the steep shore, almost on the road to the village of Varovishte and Kalin Kamen. stone, and the roof of wood.It is one part and ground floor, basically square.In the ruined interior, the altar with the holy water bed, which was brought from behind the chapel, dominates.The sacred sacrament of baptism was performed in the bed The building needs reconstruction.In 2003 the roof structure was covered with sheet metal.

A small masterpiece with a porch
The small masterpiece, located in the upper plateau (cathedral), is not a typical building in the complex, which follows and complements the architectural ensemble. Its function is content-based. The basic element inside the small kitchen, which serves for cooking, is the fireplace next to the north wall. In addition to the fireplace, there are small niches inside, space for dishes and food items.

The masterpiece is a massive stone structure. It is covered with tiles, and sometimes with stone slabs. In addition, a large covered porch was built with opportunities for accommodation and food preparation. According to the construction, it belongs to the type of buildings that were built at the end of the XIX century.


Barn with barn
This two-storey building was built in height in the direction above the barracks in 1905. It has the shape of an elongated rectangle placed in the north-south direction.

The barn is located on the ground floor and the barn on the first floor. The entrance to the barn is on the ground floor through a massive wooden gate on the south side. Movable wooden stairs lead from the barn to the first floor. The floor is entered (in the barn) from the west through the upper path. The main façade is reminiscent of an ancient temple. In perspective it can be renovated and used for cultural events.

Barracks with a boys' quarters
This building is located in the southeast, next to the place Babin Dol through which you enter the monastery complex. According to the analogy, it belongs to the objects of the traditional Macedonian architecture from the end of the XIX or the beginning of the XX century.

The barracks is a ground floor building with an approximately square base. It has a function of brewing brandy, a function that has been retained to this day. The building is built of carved stone. The roof structure is wooden, covered with tiles. Inside, the floor is earthen and the walls are not plastered.

The bakery
The bakery is built southeast of the monastery, along the road coming from its eastern side, near the large parking lot and the grain barn, which is in its function. The bakery was built in 1900, as it is written above its ground floor entrance. The bakery has a ground floor and a first floor. Bread was prepared and baked on the ground floor. It is organized with two rooms. There are two rooms on the first floor. The rooms were originally used for bakery workers. It was also used as an apartment for monks. In the period from 1918 to 1924 and from 1945 to 1976, with the understanding of the monastery administration, a primary school operated here.

Grain barn
This barn is built on a small plateau just below the level of the wide plateau (large parking lot) on the east approach.

The concept of space and function are the same as the rice barn, only this barn has smaller dimensions.

The lower parts of the building, except for the north side from where it enters, are built of carved stone. The side walls are made of wood and planks. Before the renovation it was covered with sheet metal, and now with copper. Inside the barn there were compartments for unloading and storing grain.

According to the terrain configuration, it hangs in the space, leaving the impression of an exciting expressive composition.

In 2004/2005 it was renovated together with the rice barn. The donation is from the World Bank and the Ministry of Culture. The architectural solution and the construction are by the civil engineer and caretaker Predrag Velinovski and dia. Stevce Ristovski. Today's purpose of the barn is to accommodate guests and cultural creators.

Rice barn
The rice barn was built on a narrow plateau east of the Great Monastery Church in 1897. Its location is such that it gives the impression of hanging in the air, occupying the highest point of the steep shore on the monastery river. Due to the configuration of the terrain, the stone masonry party occupies almost three storeys, which suggests a traditional but also timeless dimension to the barn. The barn is entered from the north side through a covered and open porch. Inside there are wooden stairs that lead to the place where the rice is poured and pumped. The whole construction of the barn is made of wood and planks.

The registry office is located on the west side, opposite the Old Hostel.

The inscription above the front door dates the building and the function: "Here is written the alms of the feast of St. Joachim". On the left is the inscription "Christian Brothers", and on the right is "built 1912". the entrance from the east, the gifts are left directly in the Great Monastery Church, thus losing its function.

New residence
The new guest house is located on the upper plateau (gathering place), architecturally, stylishly and functionally filling the empty space between the guest house from 1917 and the guest house "Plochanica".

It was built in the period from 1996 to 2003, with a donation of citizens and with its own funds from the monastery. It was consecrated in 2002 by Metropolitan Cyril.

The architectural solution and the organization of the construction are at B.Sc. architect Stevce Ristovski, caretaker of the monastery. The building is built with modern building materials. In architectural terms, it fits into an old Macedonian town house and follows the construction tradition of this area. It impresses with its calm lines and the architectural idea that successfully conceived the space and the connection with the two lodgings.


Upstairs are five apartments with a high standard of accommodation. On the ground floor there is an ambient monastery restaurant, which meets the needs of many visitors.

Hostel of the upper cathedral
This is a new residence with two rooms on the first floor, upgraded above the central heating system of the monastery, which is being built with funds from the World Bank and the Ministry of Culture 2004/2005. It reminds of an old Macedonian house and follows the tradition. This is a lodging on the highest elevation ever built in the monastery. The architectural and construction solution are on Eng. Predrag Velinovski, caretaker of the monastery.

From 1990 until today, the head of the monastery is the archpriest-staurophore Dobrislav Boskovski (1938-). Prota Dobrislav Boskovski is an indigenous priest, who from 1968 to 1997 was the elder of the Kriva Palanka church of St. Demetrius. Since 1996 he has been appointed deputy hierarch, and in 1997 he became archpriest-staurophore. He is actively involved in all actions to raise funds for revitalization (construction of the new residence) and for the functioning of the monastery.

Today the Osogovo Monastery is under the vicarage of Kriva Palanka. Besides the elder, the priests Aco Trajanovski (elder of the church of St. Dimitrija), priest Ljubomir Mitevski and priest Zoran Vitkovski also serve as priests in the monastery. Especially the priest Ljubomir Mitevski for the last ten years is directly connected with the monastery, with the restoration of its tradition and with worship on Sundays and on the great Christian holidays.

Cultural manifestations in the monastery
International Art Colony "St. Joachim Osogovski"/ Osogovo Monastery
September 5, 1987 marks a new page in the cultural history of Kriva Palanka. Then the idea for new content design and revitalization of the monastery lodgings was realized through the establishment of the International Art Colony "St. Joachim Osogovski". The initiators of its establishment were academic painters Petar Mazev, Dimitar Stojcevski, Nikola Ivanov-Balton, Zlatko Stefanovski Podr. The Metropolitan of Polog and Kumanovo, Mr. Kiril, in practice received the opening of the gates of the monastery of St. Joachim Osogovski for the art and the unexplored forms of the spirit, so that the beginning was marked as a ten-day tradition. of the monastery as a cultural, educational and spiritual center.