When we arrived in Kicevo and asked for the Kale (fortress) we were warned that there was nothing to see.
Well, that had to be documented, so we walked up the hill above the center until the top, where a WWII Monument was. Indeed, except for a great view over Kicevo, we could not really find the remains of an old Ottoman fortress. Maybe stone walls were part of an ancient fortress, or the stairs..? Maybe we missed parts of the ruins since we were a bit in a hurry to get to Skopje...
The view was worth the walk uphill though...
A church has existed at the Monastery of Knezino since the first centuries of Christianity. The church was set on fire upon the arrival of the Turks. A church was rebuilt in 1973, but broken down again upon completion of the current Church of St George.
Close to Kicevo, a few kilometers from the village Knezino, you can find the Monastery of Knezino. Because its church is dedicated to St George, the monastery is also known as St George's Monastery.
A church has existed at this place since the first centuries of Christianity. The church was set on fire upon the arrival of the Turks. A church was rebuilt in 1973, but broken down again upon completion of the current Church of St George.
The Monastery is run by one nun, who keeps the grounds very nicely and has her own vegetable garden.
She also makes an excellent Rakija, which is sold at the monastery for 500 MKD (about 8 euro). A bit expensive for rakija, but you should see it as a donation to the church :-)
The nun also keeps two enormous dogs in a shed at the complex.
You can not stay in this monastery, according to the nun it is too much work for her to make the beds, wash the sheets etc etc.
An icon from the Monastery of St Bogorodica Precista was taken several times to the Knezino Monastery, but the icon returned each time at night on a ray of light to the St Bogorodica Monastery!
The fresco paintings in the Church of St Bogorodica Precista have been made in two stages. The first stage was performed by zograph Dicho from Tresonche around 1850. Other frescoes were painted nearly 30 years later, probably due to economical and political circumstances. It is assumed that they were painted by the son of Dicho, Avram, in 1880.
The fresco paintings in the church are ranked among the richest ensembles painted in Macedonia in the 19th century.
Zograph Dicho also painted the iconostasis. The Royal Doors and the Bishop's throne date from the 16th century.
In a legend about the monastery, an icon of Mary was taken three times to the Monastery of Knezino near Kicevo. Each time, the icon returned to the Monastery of St Bogorodica Precista the same night on a ray of light.
September 21st, Virgin Mary's birthday, is the saint-say of the monastery. You can expect a lot of festivities at the monastery on that day.
See the link below for more pictures of the interior of the church, including the flying icon.
A church has existed at this place since the first centuries of Christianity. The church was set on fire upon the arrival of the Turks. This church was rebuilt in 1973, but broken down again upon completion of the current Church of St George.
This fountain on the grounds of the Monastery of Kicevo is supposed to have water with healing powers.
That must explain all the beautiful flowers and plants on the site, which get the same water!
People come here to fill plastic bottles to take the water home.
This small church is built next to the big Church of St Bogorodica Precista .
You could easily miss it after seeing its impressive brother.
It is dedicated to St Nikola.
If it is closed, you can ask for it to be opened by the people of the monastery.
The present-day church of the Monastery of Kicevo, dedicated to St Bogorodica Precista, was built in 1848.
It is a very massive and stately building, and among the largest ones of this type in Macedonia.
A smaller church dedicated to St Nikola is attached to the eastern side of the church.
The Monastery of St Bogorodica Precista is dedicated to "The Annunciation of the Holy Virgin" and is now known as "The Most Pure Virgin of Kicevo". In earlier times it was called Krninski Monastery, after the village Krnino, which was devastated in the 19th century.
The Monastery is built on the slopes of mountain Vrvoi, about 12 km from Kicevo. There are no data available about the exact time of construction, but it is thought to date back to the 14th century.
The Monastery was destroyed in 1515 along with the Monastery of St Jovan Bigorski when sultan Selim ordered that all monasteries had to be destroyed. It was soon renovated again. In 1558 it was destroyed by a fire and renovated again in 1564, when a new church of stones was built.
In 1843 the Monastery burned down again, but the stone church survived. Its interior was badly damaged however, and it was pulled down anyway.
The present-day Church of St Bogorodica Precista was built in 1848. It is a very big and solid building, especially compared to most other churches I've seen in Macedonia.
You enter the Monastery court-yard through a high wooden gate. On the place of the old lodging houses which burnt down in 1953, new lodgings were built in 1985, while others were restored in the period 1986-1990.
This museum is dedicated to the liberation of Macedonia in the WWII.
Kicevo was the first town in the Republic of Macedonia that was liberated by the Macedonian Liberation Forces when they defeated the fascists here.
The building that now houses the museum was the headquarters of the National Liberation Army (or something like that), according to a sign on the building.
Unfortunately, the museum was closed when we arrived there in the late afternoon.
Opening times: 11.00-16.00 except on Mondays. Organized visits on weekends and holidays.
This church dedicated to Saints Petar and Pavle (Peter and Paul) lies in the center of Kicevo.
When we were inside, we got the feeling that the church was quite old, because of the dark colored frescoes. However, we were told that that was due to all the candles that were burned in the church.
The building dates from the 1970's.
Monastery of Sveta Bogorodica Precista (Holy Mother of God) is the most important religious place for Kicevo region. Dedicated to Virgin Mary, Mother of God, celebrating day of this monastery is "Mala Bogorodica", (Birthday of Virgin Mary on 21-th of September).This Monastery is known because on the day of "Blagovestie" ( 17-th of April) 1924 , Dositej entered the World of Monachisam. In 1963, Dositej became the first Archbishop of renewed Ohrid Archbishopry ( Macedonian Orthodox Church). Archbishop Dositej was the one who proclaimed Autocephaly ( independence) of Macedonian Orthodox Church.
The biggest legend about this Monastery is the "Legend of flying Icon". One icon of Mother of God in this monastery was 3 time sent to Knezino Monastery.Every time, at night this Icon followed by rey of light on the sky was coming back to this Monastery on it`s original place. Last time when this event occurred, people were watching this monastery all night, just to secure all the doors, because people were suspicious that someone is secretly bringing the Icon back. But, in the middle of the night, a ray of light passed through the sky and entered the monastery through one of the windows.When people entered the monastery, they saw the Icon returned on the same place as it was before.It`s located in high mountains few kilometers away from town of Kicevo.To reach this monastery,You must leave Kicevo and head it on the way to Ohrid. After Kicevo, next is the village of Drugovo.After Drugovo, on the crossroad, You must turn left to enter the road to Bitola. Few kilometers on that road , on the left side there is a traffic sign "Precista" showing the way up to the monastery. There You must turn left, exit the road to Bitola, and head it up on a small mountain road to Monastery.
This WWII monument is on the hill above the center of Kicevo, where supposedly also the old Ottoman fortress Kicevo Kale used to be.