Kriva Palanka Things to Do

  • St Joakim Osogovski Monastery
    St Joakim Osogovski Monastery
    by Pijlmans
  • St Joakim Osogovski Church
    St Joakim Osogovski Church
    by Pijlmans
  • St Joakim Osogovski Church
    St Joakim Osogovski Church
    by Pijlmans

Most Recent Things to Do in Kriva Palanka

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    Church St Nikola, Gradec

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 9, 2011
    St Nikola
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    The Church of St Nikola is located about 7 km from the center of Kriva Palanka near the village Gradec.

    The last kilometer is not asphalted.

    One kilometer further uphill there is the hermitage of St Joakim Osogovski.

    The church is from 1852.

    See the link below for a GPS track leading to the church and hermitage and here for the tip about this short hike.

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    St Joakim Osogovski Lodging

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 2, 2011

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    Old Lodging Houses
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    First of all, a warning if you would like to stay at the Monastery of St Joakim Osogovski: You need to have your passport, and to announce yourself to the police in Kriva Palanka (3 km downhill from the monastery). They are so strict with this, that when I showed up several years ago without a passport but with a drivers license, I could not stay there!

    At the monastery, they will fill out a form stating that you are staying there, and for how long, similar like e.g. a hotel would do for you. However, you most likely have to bring this form by yourself to the police in Kriva Palanka, which can be quite annoying and time-consuming. We had a car, so going quickly back to Kriva Palanka was not a big deal. But the police gave me a hard deal because i had not officially registered myself with the police within three days of entering Macedonia. Usually your hotel does this for you, but i always stay with my parents-in-law and never register...

    The police station is at Sveti Joakim Osogovski Street, N42.20653 E22.33710

    You can stay in the older lodging houses for 300 MKD per person (about 5 euro). These rooms have no private bathroom, and you may have to share your room with others.

    The new rooms are above the restaurant and have a private bathroom with shower, all quite modern and living up to the standards of a basic hotel. They cost 600 MKD per person (about 10 euro). If you are staying in the new part, note that you can also park at the parking higher up the road. That will save you carrying your luggage uphill to your room!

    The restaurant is simple but quite good if you like grill. Its can also be rented for weddings (often held only on Saturdays), so if you have room above the restaurant, don't expect spiritual rest. A dinner for two persons including drinks will set you back about 400 MKD, about 6-7 euro.

    There is a kitchen in both old and new lodging houses, where you can prepare your own food as well. In case you decide to drink your own wine, make sure you have a corkscrew, since I had to ask around for a long time until I found one!

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    Hike to Hermitage of St Joakim Osogovski

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 2, 2011
    Hike to Hermitage
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    The monastery of St Joakim Osogovski is named after a monk who followed a hermit's life. His hermitage (a place where one can live in seclusion) can be found in the vicinity of Kriva Palanka, near the village Gradec.

    Allegedly, Joakim Osogovski was a brother of St Prohor Pcinjski, St Gavril Lesnovski and Jovan Rilski, who all had monasteries named after them. Historical data indicates that Jovan Rilski may have lived 100 years earlier than his "brothers".

    We went there by car from the center of Kriva Palanka. After 6 km uphill (elevation about 260 m), the asphalt road ends, and we parked the car next to the road. From here it is 2 km walking uphill (elevation 110 m) to the hermitage.

    After less than 1 km you pass the Church of St Nikola. At the entrance of the church there is a sign with a basic map, indicating where the hermitage is located with respect to the church.

    There is a big covered picnic place just below the hermitage.

    I made a GPS track from the center of Kriva Palanka to the hermitage, you can have a look at it and download this track at the link below.

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    Hike to Ruen Peak

    by Pijlmans Updated Sep 29, 2011
    Hike to Ruen Peak
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    This hike is close to the border with Bulgaria, near the Toranica mine.

    The start is approximately 22 km from Kriva Palanka, measured from the road that leads to the Monastery of St Joakim Osogovski. To get to the start, take the E871 toward Bulgaria. After 12 km, take the turn-off to the right towards the Toranica mine. Be aware that there are some holes in this road!

    After about 7 km you arrive at the gate for the mine. You have to announce yourself here, and show your passport in order to pass, so make sure you have your passport with you!

    After the gate, the road is still asphalted, but is in extremely bad condition with many holes. After you followed this road for another 3 km, you arrive at some buildings where you can park the car.

    The hike starts here and is approximately 12 km in length with an elevation of 810 meters.

    We were aware of the fact that there was a chance of thunderstorm the day that we did this hike, but we decided to do it anyway. When we started the hike, the weather was still sunny, but when we were halfway it became cloudy rather quickly. We could hear thunder in the distance, which is not a very comforting sound if you are walking to a peak... When we were almost at the top, it became very foggy within minutes, and visibility was reduced to just a few meters. While we were walking downhill again, the sky cleared and there was sunshine again.

    Take-home message: Weather conditions can change very quickly here!

    We were not alone during this hike, there were quite a lot of people picking blueberries, which are growing abundantly on these mountains.

    There are several ruins along the hike, most likely of former border patrol houses.

    More pictures can be found in my travelogue.

    The GPS track for this hike was prepared for us by Noir from www.mkdmount.org, for which many thanks! The GPS track can be found and downloaded at the link below.

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    St Joakim Osogovski Monastery

    by Pijlmans Updated Sep 19, 2011

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    St Joakim Osogovski Church
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    The first thing people think of when they hear Kriva Palanka is the Monastery of St Joakim Osogovski.

    It is a big monastery, where you can stay for the night. There even is a restaurant.

    It is a very popular place for the locals, and many people go here for their holiday or a weekend. When we where there, is was e.g. used as a training camp for a volleyball team. It therefore is a good idea to make a reservation some time in advance.

    The monastery was founded somewhere in the 12th century, but the current complex is from a more recent date. The big church on the pictures was built around 1850 by the master-builder Andrea Damjanov, who e.g. also built the Church of St Pantelejmon in Veles, the Church of St Bogorodica in Stip and the Church of St Nikola in Kumanovoo.

    The monastery and the church on the pictures are named after St Joakim Osogovski, a dedicated monk who followed a hermit's life. His hermitage (a place where one can live in seclusion) can be found in the vicinity of Kriva Palanka, a trip that includes a nice short walk.

    Allegedly, Joakim Osogovski was a brother of St Prohor Pcinjski, St Gavril Lesnovski and Jovan Rilski, who all had monasteries named after them. Historical data indicates that Jovan Rilski may have lived 100 years earlier than his "brothers".

    A legend tells that during the Ottoman-Austria war in 1690, the Ottomans ordered the monastery to be destroyed, because local Macedonians had sided with the Austrian general Piccolomini (the same guy who burned down Skopje btw). The Ottomans where overwhelmed by the beauty of the monastery and decided not destroy it and left. One of them had taken a bone of St Joakim Osogovski as a souvenir, but the further he traveled from the monastery, the sicker he got and he had to return the relic. When the sultan heard this story, he ordered to place a protective stone marker at the monastery to let all Ottomans and Muslims know to leave the monastery unharmed. This stone can still be seen, see the pictures.

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    Hermitage of St Joakim Osogovski

    by Pijlmans Updated Sep 4, 2011
    Hermitage of St Joakim Osogovski
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    The monastery of St Joakim Osogovski is named after a monk who followed a hermit's life. His hermitage (a place where one can live in seclusion) can be found in the vicinity of Kriva Palanka, near the village Gradec.

    Allegedly, Joakim Osogovski was a brother of St Prohor Pcinjski, St Gavril Lesnovski and Jovan Rilski, who all had monasteries named after them. Historical data indicates that Jovan Rilski may have lived 100 years earlier than his "brothers".

    The cave in which he lived is really small, about the size of a bathtub!

    You can only reach the hermitage with a walk of 2 km, see the link below for more information.

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    Milk pipeline

    by Pijlmans Updated Sep 4, 2011
    Milk Pipeline
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    Close to the Monastery of St Joakim Osogovski you can see some remains of an old pipeline that was used to transport milk to the monastery.

    The milk came from villages in the surrounding mountains, such as those near Lake Kalin Kamen.

    The remains can be found along the road to the monastery, between the main entrance to the monastery and the upper parking place. They are indicated with a black sign, see the pictures.

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    Hike to Lake Kalin Kamen

    by Pijlmans Updated Sep 4, 2011
    Lake Kalin Kamen
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    From the Monastery of St Joakim Osogovski it is about 9 km to a Lake Kalin Kamen, a small lake in the mountains. The elevation is 730 m.

    To get there, take the asphalt road uphill from the monastery. After 6 km the asphalt stops but the road is reasonably well. We drove another 1.5 km by car, after which the road became worse and we parked the car.

    The last 1.5 km we walked to the lake, where there is a covered picnic place.

    From Lake Kalim Kamen you can continue to the Carev Peak, but we did not do that. The hike to the Carev Peak is signposted already from the monastery, but I don't know how well it is marked uphill from Lake Kalin Kamen. The Bradt Travel guide mentions that the hike from the monastery to the Carev Peak is almost 20 km one-way. If you go partly by car like I described here, the hike should be easier to do. I estimate that it is about 8 additional km from Lake Kalin Kamen to the Carev Peak, so a round trip from the place where we parked the car would be about 18-20 km.

    The link below is the GPS track I made from the monastery to Lake Kalin Kamen and includes a waypoint for the Carev Peak. If you have a look at Google Earth, the track to Carev Peak is more or less obvious.

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    Tourist Information

    by Pijlmans Written Sep 4, 2011
    Kriva Palanka

    The culural center of Kriva Palanka is located along the main street St Joakim Osogovski.

    It also houses the tourist information center, which was closed every time we tried to visit it. These centers often have free informative booklets about the surroundings.

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    Osogovski Monastery: Church of St Bogorodica

    by Pijlmans Written Sep 3, 2011
    Church of St Bogorodica
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    The smaller church of the Monastery of St Joakim Osogovski is dedicated to St Bogorodica, the Holy Mother of God.

    Its current state back to the 14th century but was originally founded in the 12th century.

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    St Joakim Osogovski Monastery

    by Pijlmans Written Sep 3, 2011

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    Distillery
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    Several buildings at the monastery grounds remind of the activities that used to take place here, such as a distillery (note the big wooden barrel), the bakery at the entrance of the monastery, and former stables from 1905.

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    War Monument

    by Pijlmans Updated Sep 2, 2011

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    WWII Monument
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    This monument for the fallen during the second world war is located in the yard of the City Hall.

    The ruins of a fortress can also be found next to the City Hall.

    Once you think that this guy is smelling his armpit, wondering if his buddy fainted due to his body odor, you cannot see anything else than that...

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    Ruins of a fortress

    by Pijlmans Written Sep 2, 2011

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    Fortress Ruins
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    This must be one of the hardest sights to find in Macedonia!

    We read about the existence of a fortress in the Trimaks tourist guide "Macedonia" of the Macedonian Ministry of Economy. It should have been built by the Ottomans in 1633.

    However, we could find this fortress nowhere! After asking around quite a bit, we found out that is is in the backyard of the City Hall.

    It was a Friday evening, but we tried anyway. A cleaning lady let us in, and after a while the guard of the City Hall showed up. He took us to some offices upstairs, from where you could see the remains of this fortress. What a great service!

    The remains are basically nothing more than a wall, which you can also see if you go right when you're standing in front of the City Hall. The guard told us that the wall was not build with ordinary cement, but that eggs where used in the construction.

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    Ossogovo Monastery

    by Childish Updated Oct 25, 2007

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    Macedonia, Ossogovo Monastery, Old Church
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    Joakim (aka Jakim) Ossogovski (aka Sarandoporski) , as well Gavril Lesnovski and Prohor Pchinski were followers of St. Joan Riski (see Rila Monastery in Bulgaria). The four of them are proclaimed by the Bulgarian church as saints.
    In the end of 10th century Joakim Ossogovski lived in a cave near the river Kriva Palanka. After he died in 1105 he was buried by local hunters. His burial place attracted many people, who believed in its healing power.
    The monastery was founded by Teodor from Ovche Pole, who after the death of his wife, became a monk and took the name Teofan. The monastery was known under the name Sarandoporski after the name of the area Sarandopor, meaning '40 valleys'. The remains of Joakim Ossogovski were moved to the church.
    The nowadays monastery has two churches - the old one, Holy Mary, and the new one, St. Joakim Ossogovski. The new church was built between 1847-1851 by Andrej Damjanov. The most impressive wall paintings were done by Dimitar Andonov Papradishki. The remains of Joakim Ossogovski are to the right of the church entry.
    The small church was renovated in 2005 and its frescoes look like newly painted.
    I didn't have the change yet to check it, but according to the bishop there, the four monasteries - Rila Monastery, Ossogovo Monastery, Lesnovski and Pchinski monstary (nowadays in Serbia) form a cross, when seen by the air.

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    Church of St Joakim Osogovski Frescoes

    by Pijlmans Written Sep 3, 2011

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    Fresoes
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    It is not allowed to take pictures inside the churches of the Monastery of St Joakim Osogovski.

    However, the Church of St Joakim Osogovski is richly painted on the outside and can be photographed.

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