Kalishta Monstery is located on the shores of the Ohrid Lake in a natural rocky environment. It is a monastic complex that consists of four churches, two dedicated to the Nativity of Holy Mother of God, one dedicated to the apostles Sts Peter and Paul and the last one, a cave church, dedicated to St. Athanasius the Great.
One of the churches devoted to the Nativity of Holy Mother of God is a cave church and it is a symbol of the monastery as well as for the particular lifestyle known as asceticism and characterized by abstinence of physical pleasures and time spent in fasting and pursuing spiritual goals.
The cave church is built in the 14th century and is authentic and preserved with no restoration. There are three monk cells placed within the rock in which the church is built. Another symbol of the complex in the unique wonder making icon of the Mother of God painted with black face and clothing and holding in her hands the Black Jesus, exposed in the church devoted to the Nativity of Holy Mother of God which was rebuilt in 1977.
This type of icon painting is really rare. In Europe there are around 450 icons known as “Black Madonna”, a fact that puts an accent on the importance of this monastic complex.