Village Gradesnica, the birth place of one of the most famous Macedonian folk characters “Itar Pejo” (Итар Пејо, Sly (Clever) Peter) is located on the flow of Gradeska River (Градешка Река), a natural beauty which enriches the panorama of the village.

Gradesnica is a hill village and  lies on 800 meters above sea level, 52 km distant from Bitola in Municipality of Novaci.

The date when the village is formed is not known, but according to archeological findings, in this place a continuity of life exists since prehistory. One proof for this is the ceramic plate decorated with spirals, which was built in the walls of the church St. George in the upper part of the village.


The continuity of organized living since pre-historic time in this region is testified by the findings of ceramic objects decorated with spirals, some of them build in the walls of the church St. George.


Monastery St. Ilija (Bren) – Св. Илија – Брен

Also, what only few people know, is the fact that in this village in 1952 a tooth of Mastodont is found. It’s one of the nine such artifacts found in Macedonia, now kept in the museum of Nature in Belgrade.
The village celebrates the St. Ilija (Ilinden) holiday, in the nearby monastery, where large numbers of emigrants from Gradesnica and from all surrounding villages gather.

Church Sv. Dimitrija (St. Demetrius)

At the entrance of the village near the cemetery the Church St. Dimitrij (Св. Димитрија) is located. The church St. Dimitrij is one of the oldest churches in the Bitola region and it dates back from XV century and it is built in stone and mortar, covered with stone plates.



In the interior, the altar part is divided with mason iconostasis, which presents true rarity.
During the First World War, the church was hit by a grenade, which had damaged the roof, but didn’t explode.

Ethnology museum in Gradesnica

Placed in the center of the village, the ethnology museum in village Gradesnica is opened on August 2, 2009 and it is one of the “must see” locations in Mariovo. The museum represents magnificent collection of ethno elements from the life and culture of the local population, weapon remains and objects used in the World Wars.



The museum is works from May until November and visits are possible only with prior notice.
For more info please contact
Katerina Mavrovska
+ 389 70 623 268


Church St. Nikola (Св. Никола, St. Nicholas)

In the center of the village the church St. Nikola (Св. Никола, St. Nicholas) is located, which is the main church in the village Gradesnica.

Village Gradeshnica is known as a village with a rich Christian tradition and in the nineteenth century, particularly in its second half, in Gradesnica intensely begun work on renovations of the churches, including the church “St. Nikola”.
Above the back side of door, there is inscription which says that the church was restored in 1863, but since when was the old church, it is not known. During the First World War, the church St. Nicholas suffered great damages as the village Gradesnica, in which almost every house was demolished.


The church is built of solid material, it was repaired in 1923, and the frescos were restored in 1927 by the painter Kosta Nikolic (Коста Николиќ) with his sons Jakim (Јаким) and Todosija (Теодосија), born in the village Lazaropole. According to the data, the church was consecrated in the same year by the Bishop of the diocese of Bitola Joseph (Јосиф).
The church “St. Nicholas” is the central church in village Gradeshnica in which residents perform all Christian traditions. Recently it has been revived and the porch was renovated.

Remains of Old Roman villa – church St. Andonija

The existence of the Roman fortress “Peshta” as dominant strategic position nearby village Gradesnica, resulted with building of residential premises for the commander of the nearby stationed Roman army.
According to D-r Branislav Ristevski from Institute for Old Slavic Culture Prilep, on the places of the present churches St. Andonija (Св. Андонија), St. George (Св. Ѓорѓи) and St. Spas (Holy Salvation, Св. Спас) existed pseudo-urban Roman villa from the middle of the II to the late III century.
Within the framework of the comprehensive archaeological analyzes, carried out in the period from 1990 to 1998 the remains of complex of Roman villas were spotted, whereby the manufacturing and  sliving capacities were positioned at St. Spas (Holy Salvation) site, the manufacturing and residential premises were at St. George site, while the complex at St. Andonia with no doubt had residential character, intended for enjoyment (Otium).
Later the Roman villa at St. Andonija site, with some modifications was transformed to Christian church (IV century), remains of which can still be seen today, nearby the present church built in 1970s.



The new church St. Andonija built in 1970s and the base (remains still visible) of the old church (transformed Roman villa)

It can be said that the nature had been kind to village Gradesnica, which with its eco pure environment, is well known by its products like: “Mariovo lam”, “Bieno (beaten) cheese” and “Mariovo honey”.