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Monastery of Saint Naum (Манастир „Свети Наум“)

Monastery of Saint Naum




Location: 29 km (18 mi) South of Ohrid, Lake Ohrid  Map

Constructed: 905





Eastern Orthodox Monastery of Saint Naum is situated 29 km (18 mi) South of Ohrid on a cliffs overlooking lake Ohrid in the Republic of Macedonia. It was established in 905 by Saint Naum. He was a student of Saints Cyril and Methodius, two brothers who invented Cyrillic alphabet that is still in use in Macedonia as well as many other countries. Bulgarian kings Boris I and Simeon the Great helped greatly to expand the abbey. Monastery served as an important cultural and education centre for the Orthodox Christians of the whole Balkan peninsula. With the arrival of the Ottoman Turks Monastery of Saint Naum became the centre of the national identity. Even Muslims respected medieval saint and often came here to pay respect to the remains of a great man. Many people believed that prayers of Saint Naum helped with psychological problems and disturbances.



In its original form, this church was almost identical to the Church of St. Panteleimon in Ohrid. Sometime between the 10th and 13th centuries, the Naum church was completely destroyed. But then, around the 16th century, the present church was erected on its foundations in two stages. First, during the renovation, the nave and the narthex were built, and in the second stage two domes were erected - above the nave and the narthex. The present church bears the modifications, and it has the form of an inscribed cross in a square dome with four pillars. Naum's Tomb is a separate building with a broad, low dome.

One legend says that St. Naum and St. Clement were brothers and agreed together to build two monasteries on the disputed areas of Lake Ohrid. In doing so, the two saints were to begin the construction of monasteries at the same time, and the beginning of construction was to be marked by the sound of a bell. However, on the rope that stretched across the lake the seagulls stopped, and the bell rang. Clement began construction early. Later, his monastery of Plaosnik was turned into a mosque for punishment. Another legend says that St. Naum held the keys to Lake Ohrid, and by his order, the Crni Drim water passed through the lake without interfering with the lake water.
Regarding the construction of the monastery, one legend says that St. Naum traveled somewhere and spent the night at the estate of a wealthy man who complained that he was unhappy because his daughter was bald. Then St. Naum made her daughter get hair, and in thanksgiving, the rich man bowed down to the saint's estate. Later, on that property, St. Naum built his monastery.

Fresco painting
The most recent rebuilt monastery church was frescoed after 1400, as evidenced by a fragment found beneath the floor of the present church. It says that the fresco painting was the work of "the painter Trpo, son of the painter Constantine of Korca, painted during the time of the abbot Stephen". The main monastery church is dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gavril (Church of St. Archangels - Ljubanista), and there is a chapel dedicated to the Thessaloniki brothers (Church of St. Cyril and Methodius - Ljubanista). Five Roman and churches of Our Lady of the spring of Drim. and “St. Athanasius ”located not far from the monastery of the springs of the river Drim.
In 1985, the monastery stolen 13 so-called "celibate icons", painted by the hieromonk Constantine in 1711. It is the largest theft of icons in recent Macedonian history, and the icons have not been found to this day.

Monastery activity
Thanks to the miracle-working of St. Nahum, his monastery gained great popularity. Originally, a monastery was held at the monastery on the day of his death (December 23, ie January 5 in the new style), but on May 5, 1720, the Archbishopric of Ohrid decided to postpone the celebration on June 20 (July 3 after new calendar). The reason was cited in Archbishop Joseph's letter of 21 May 1740, which states that the move was made because of winter conditions, as well as overlapping with Christmas celebrations. The celebration of St. Naum did not stop even during the communist rule. Thus, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Democratic Federal Macedonia, on June 14, 1945, wrote a letter allowing "to open the border for all who come to the monastery feast", allowing Albanian believers to attend the fair.





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