St. Jovan Bigorski, Rajcica, Vevcani and St. Bogorodica (Mother of God) Kališta
The western part of the Republic of Macedonia is rich in high mountains, crystal clear lakes and rivers and untouched nature. About 50 km north of Ohrid , nearby the Macedonian- Albanian borderline, lies a place with one of the most spectacular monasteries in the Balkans – St. Jovan Bigorski. It is accessible from the regional road Ohrid-Struga-Debar-National Park Mavrovo.
Beyond any doubt, this is one of the most scenic roads in Macedonia, especially the section along the River Crni Drim (with the two artificial lakes Debar Lake and Globocica) and the canyon of the River Radika. The monastery dedicated to St. John the Baptist was constructed in the 11 century and, to date, it has been refurbished and renovated on a number of occasions. Known far and wide for the wood carving at the iconostasis (19th century) and the miraculous icon of St. John the Baptist, it is also well-known for the relics of several saints that are found in the Monastery of St. Jovan Bigorski.
On the way back to Ohrid-Struga, we are going to visit the convent at Rajcica near the town of Debar (its church is dedicated to St. George the Victorious and built in 11 century). A piece from Jesus Christ's Holy Cross and a piece of St. John the Baptist's are kept in the church of the Convent of Rajcica. St. George the Victorious is a women's religious community and it is appendage of the well-known and richest Macedonian Monastery of St. Jovan Bigorski. It is believed that this Convent was established early in the 14 century, as the appendage of the Bigorski Monastery of St. John in the Field of Debar.
Then, by bus, we are traveling to the village of Vevcani, built on the slopes of Mount Jablanica. This village has several interesting subjects to offer to the visitor – an unusually beautiful mountain with natural attractiveness, clean air, spring water protected by the law, a water mill which is out of operation, spring water that runs under and beside the houses through the village, in few words – a cultural and ethno plunging into the past, an interesting combination of the architecture of old houses, the life of the village population by the old traditions. Lunch will be served at one of the Vevcani’s restaurants, to include homemade rakija (grape brandy), wine and traditional dishes prepared by the chefs of the old Macedonian cuisine. After lunch, wedepart for Kalista a small fishing village characterized by its mixed Albanian and Macedonian population and by being a place where the Monastery of Holy Mother of God is situated.The oldest part of the Monastery dates back to the 13 century, while the church itself and the monks' cells are dug out in the rock. In the yard of the Monastery there is a new church with the miraculous icon of the Black Madonna. Part of this Monastery complex is also the residence of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
Program:The trip moves along the route Ohrid/Struga-Debar and you will have an opportunity to enjoy in some beautiful landscape of Mount Jablanica while following the course of the River Crni Drim. The bus will arrive in the vicinity of the Monastery St. Jovan Bigorski, then we will walk up a trail about 500 m long to the Monastery gate.
Tour Organized by:
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