Treskavec Monastery

Treskavec Monastery is situated at the altitude of 1300 meters, about 10 km away from town of Prilep, under the Zlatovrv peak 1422 meters, in a striking remote mountain landscape of karst massif, from where you have a stunning view of the Pelagonia Valley and towns of Prilep, Bitola and Kruševo. It is said that Treskavec Monastery is one of the most inaccessible and hidden monasteries in Macedonia, since it can be reached only on foot, along the winding narrow pathway passing by strange rock formations. We find Treskavac Monastery one of the most beautiful monasteries in the Balkans and a significant monastic and spiritual center of Ohrid Archbishopric. From Treskavac Monastery visitors can observe the most stunning sunset in Macedonia, dominating the beautiful  Pelagonija Plain.

The complex of Treskavec Monastery consists of the single-nave church with a central dome and the three-sided eastern altar apse, dedicated to “Assumption of the Holy Mother”, monastery dormitory and the dining room. It is thought that the Treskavec Monastery was built in the 13th century on the remnants of the early-Christian temple, according to the written inscription at the entrance, and had been renovated and richly donated in the 14th century by the King Milutin. King Dušan became donor of the Treskavac Monastery after his victory against the Byzantine Empire in 1334. Treskavac Monastery was built during the Ottoman rule over this region in the architectural traditions developed under the influence of the Byzantine school. Treskavac Monastery’s façade is made from faded red bricks, with ornamental external niches and uneven roof. The Treskavac Church was fresco-painted in the 14th and the 15th century. Frescoes dating from the 14th century in the exo-narthex of the Assumption of the Holy Mother Church of Treskavac Monastery were completed in three periods : the oldest frescoes, whose donor was King Dušan, date from 1334-1343, depicting the church calendar, while frescoes of the former facade of the later added chapel, that represent founder’s composition and those painted on the facade of the exo narthex, date from the middle of the 15th century. Greek masters, used to accomplish themes and tendencies of the imperial paintings have created new manners, contrary to the ancient comparisons about similarities between the celestial and the terrestrial courts. The Christ as the Emperor of all Emperors – rex regnanticum – dressed in the modern costume of Basileus is depicted in the north-eastern calotte. The nine angelic choirs in court dresses are painted around the central medallion, in the circle, while the crowned Virgin stands before the empty throne. Owing to the cult of the Mother of God of Treskavac, the Treskavec Monastery has been since the Medieval times a pilgrimage center visited by faithful people, and members of the royal family as well, such as the young King Uroš, son of Emperor Dušan. The neighboring small cave church which has been recently registered in the immediate vicinity of the Treskavac Monastery and the remains of a hermitage imply some forms of eremite life. Treskavac Monastery experienced most prosperous period during the reign of King Dusan when it possessed large estate and 20 surrounding villages.

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