Church St. George, Staro Nagoricane (Црква Свети Ѓорѓи Старо Нагоричане)

Church St. George, Staro Nagoricane (Црква Свети Ѓорѓи Старо Нагоричане)

The church St. George in Staro Nagoricane (Црква Свети Ѓорѓи, Старо Нагоричане) occupies one of the most important places in the history of medieval Byzantine art in Macedonia.

From the original church of Roman IV Diogenes (Роман IV Диоген) (1068-1071) are preserved only the walls of the facades, made from well-formed stone blocks, the arches, and a very small fragment of the former fresco painting on the north wall of the nave, as a testimony of the rich decoration that old church had.

Today’s church was rebuilt by the Serbian King Stefan II (1282-1321) in 1313, as it can be seen from the stone inscription above the rear entrance.

By its architecture, the church represents a monumental, three-nave, five arch basilica. The domes and vault surfaces are decorated with rich ceramic-plastic decoration. The frescoes originate from 1318 when the abbot of the monastery was Benjamin (Венијамин). Made by the most famous medieval artists in Macedonia, Mihajlo Astrapa (Михајло Aстрапа) and Evtihij (Евтихиј).

The paintings of Mihajlo and Evtihij are distinctive for its precise shaping of the forms, rich narrative and pictorial range display, not only for the figures, but also for the elements in the space. With their work, they proved themselves as highly educated artists, and right here in this temple they had reached their peak in artistic and theological sense.

The church St. George represents a real rich and unique gallery of paintings, a masterpiece of Byzantine classicism of XIV century, and in the history of medieval art in Macedonia, the Balkans, and beyond.