Sveti Nikole (Свети Николе)


Sveti Nikole or Saint Nicholas - a town in the eastern part of the Republic of Macedonia, in the valley Ovche Pole and the center of the Municipality of Sveti Nikole.



Sveti Nikole is located in the central part of the Ovche Pole area and lies at 305 meters above sea level. The city is 28 km northwest of Stip, 34 km northeast of Veles and 40 km south of Kumanovo. The newly built highway Stip - Skopje, put into use in 2019, passes through Sveti Nikole.

Legend about the origin of the name Sveti Nikole
According to some, there is a legend related to this place: there were about 40 churches in Sveti Nikole. During the Turkish rule, all the churches were destroyed, only the most beautiful and the only one that remains is the church of St. Nicholas, that is why the name of this city is Sveti Nikole. According to the published book "Sveti Nikole - the main settlement in the Ovchepolska Valley", the name of the settlement is associated not only with the life and work of the Miracle Worker St. Nicholas, but also the transfer of his relics.



The history of Sveti Nikole has been continuously inhabited from prehistory until today. The oldest traces of life in the valley are from the Neolithic period, which is confirmed by archeological excavations. There are indications that in Ovche Pole was the center of the Peonian state, whose largest city, also the seat of the Peonian kings, Bilazora was located in Ovche Pole, in the locality Gradishte (village Knezje).

The oldest inhabitants of these areas were the Paionians, who inhabited the area between the rivers Aksij (Vardar) and Strimon (Struma).

Sveti Nikole, as the central place of most of Ovche Pole, as a settlement dating back to the ancient period. The settlement was originally located northeast of today's church of St. Stephen. Due to the swampy land and unhealthy living conditions at the end of the 3rd century BC. The settlement was located on the right side of Svetinikolska Reka, in the localities: Rudina, Sveti Spas and today's Recko maalo in the city. Probably the ancient name of the settlement was Probaton. In the 7th century it changed its name to Ovche Pole.

Medieval history
In medieval written sources, Ovche Pole was first mentioned as a settlement (fortress), and beyond, Ovchepolie as an area, in the 13th century. In 1246 The Nike army, in addition to other places in Macedonia, captured Ovche Pole.

In 1292 In the settlement, which still bears the name Ovche Pole, a church dedicated to the miracle worker St. Nicholas was built. The legend about the miraculous healing of Stefan Deчаanski is connected with the church, "... St. Nicholas's sheep in Ovchem Polѣ's eyes are given to him in the church ...".

Sveti Nikole is also mentioned in the gift box of the Dejanovci brothers from 1378, which confirms the gifts of the monastery of St. Panteleimon in Mount Athos.

In the census books of the Kyustendil Sandzak from 1570, Sveti Nikole is named I-s-v-i N-i-k-o-l-a. In the census list are registered two neighborhoods - buzuk, big and kuchuk, small neighborhood, as well as a separate village Sveti Nikola. The three settlements

there were 317 families with about 1,600 inhabitants. In the sixties of the 17th century, the Turkish travel writer Evliya Çelebi twice visited Sveti Nikole and in his travelogue he talks about two settlements - Ovche Pole and Kilisali (settlement next to a church). During the Turkish rule the settlement had two names, St. Nicholas for the Macedonian Christian population and Kilisali for the Turks.



Church "St. Nikola "
Church "St. Nikola ”- a church located in Sveti Nikole, in the Municipality of Sveti Nikole. This church was built on the foundations of the old church. The foundations were consecrated on October 25, 1983 by the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia gg. Angelarius. The temple was consecrated on October 14, 1990 by the Metropolitan of Bregalnica. Stefan. The icons of the iconostasis and the fresco painting in the altar part are the work of the painter Dragan Ristevski from Ohrid.

The old church
The building is a single-nave building built of stone, brick and mortar. The roof on the outside is divided into two waters and inside is divided into three arches, of which the middle is the highest. The ceiling is made of wood. The church is 12 meters long and 6.40 meters wide. There are windows on the walls. Inside the west side there is a wooden choir, and on the north wall there is a pulpit, also made of wood. The altar space is raised in relation to the nave. From the altar area to the south one enters a small room - a deaconry for the preservation of sacred books and relics. The church is not painted. The only decoration in the interior is the wooden iconostasis painted brown. There are several icons built into the frame. Some date from 1849 and others from 1875/77. Others carry an E index. According to the internal elevation divided into three parts with thin wooden pillars, 4 in number and according to the architecture and icons from 1849, it can be safely assumed that it was built in the first half of the 19th century. It is a time of intensive construction of many churches in Macedonia. Most of them were built by the master Andreja Damjanov, the greatest architect in our country in the 19th century. Among others, he built the churches in Veles, Kumanovo and Novo Selo. In this context, it can be assumed that this church was built by him.

Church "St. Stefan "
Church "St. Stefan ”- a church located in Sveti Nikole, in the Municipality of Sveti Nikole. In 1910, the cemetery church of St. Stephen was built on the foundations of the old one-nave church. A massive Corinthian capital was found in front of the entrance of the church, which is exhibited in the National Museum in Sveti Nikole. Most of the icons are by Gjorgji Zografski and an unknown author from 1929. There is no information from which hierarch she is consecrated. In 2006 the church was renovated and a narthex was added

Church "St. Lydia "- a church under construction. Foundations laid on June 15, 2014 and located in the Bel Kamen neighborhood;