Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery

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Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery
Бигорский монастырь.jpg
Monastery information
Order Macedonian Orthodox
Established 1020
Diocese Diocese of Debar and Kičevo
Controlled churches Church of St John the Baptist
Founder(s) Ivan I Debranin
Location Mavrovo and Rostuša Municipality
Coordinates 41°37′19″N 20°36′42″E / 41.62194°N 20.61167°E / 41.62194; 20.61167Coordinates: 41°37′19″N 20°36′42″E / 41.62194°N 20.61167°E / 41.62194; 20.61167
Public access yes

The Monastery of Saint Jovan Bigorski (Macedonian: Свети Јован Бигорски) is a Macedonian Orthodox monastery located in the western part of Macedonia, near the road connecting the towns of Debar and Gostivar.


The monastery church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. According to the monastery's 1833 chronicle, it was built in 1020 by Ivan I Debranin. The Ottomans destroyed the monastery in the 16th century. The monastery was restored in 1743 by the monk Ilarion, who also built several monk cells. Later, in the period from 1812 to 1825 the monastery was expanded by archimandrite Arsenius. Among the donors there is also a mention of a monk Iov, recognized by some researchers as the future educator Yoakim Karchovski. One of the most valuable treasures of the monastery is the iconostasis created by Petre Filipovski Garkata from the nearby village of Gari. This iconostasis is considered as the most beautiful and most valuable wood-carved iconostasis. Another valuable monastery treasure is an icon dating from 1020 with supposedly miraculous healing power.

Most of the old monastery complex was burnt down in 2009, while the new sections of the complex and church were saved. Reconstruction of the old palaces begun in May 2010 with the aim to reconstruct it as authentic as possible.

Holy Relics[edit]

The monastrey has a large collection of holy relics including John the Baptist, Clement of Ohrid, Lazarus of Bethany, Saint Stephen, Saint Nicholas, Saint Barbara, Paraskevi of Rome, Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha, and part of the Holy Cross.


External links[edit]