St. John Bigorski Monastery is one of the most beautiful monasteries in the Republic of Macedonia located in the breathtaking landscapes of the National Park of Mavrovo. The story of this monastery starts with the oldest miraculous icon with healing power, originating from the 11th century, dedicated to the name of St John the Baptist. The impressive architecture, especially the use of the “bigor”, meaning tuff stone, in its construction is the reason why is added “Bigorski” to the name of this sacred place. The first church was built in 1020 by the monk John.
Unfortunately, it was destroyed several times by the Ottomans and the monastery we are visiting today was built in the end of the 18th century. One of its most valuable treasures is the iconostasis, created by Petre Filipovski-Garkata from the nearby village of Gari and Makarij Frckovski from the village of Galicnik. This impressive masterpiece, considered one of the finest examples of wood carved iconostasis, was made in five years, from 1830 to 1835. The carved scenes from the Old and the New Testament together with a remarkable decoration of symbols connected to the Christianity make this iconostasis a symbol of faith, salvation and victory.
The priceless spiritual treasure is complemented with the miraculous relics from different saints, including a part from the Holy Cross. Today, there are about 20 monks who devoted their life to God and helping others. They are going to reveal with great pleasure, the history of this supreme beauty and their life in it.