Zrze Monastery Holy Transfiguration (Манастир Свето Преображение – Зрзе) near Prilep

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At about 25 miles northwest of Prilep, on 1000 meters above sea level at the foot of the mountain massif Dautica (Даутица), lies the medieval Monastery – Holy Transfiguration – Zrze (Свето Преображение – Зрзе).

The road from Prilep to Zrze, leads through villages Ropotovo, Pestalevo, Sekirci and village Kostinci which with village Zrze is connected with unpaved, bumpy road 5 km long.
At 2 km northwest from village Zrze, going through unpaved road you can get to the famous monastery Holy Transfiguration – Zrze, a road which is expected to be paved soon, so the visitors can easily arrive to the beautiful monastery.

At the monastery, the monks with great kindness await your arrival and they will gladly tell you the history of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Zrze.
Namely, in the IX century, the rocks beneath the today’s monastery were first populated by monks. In XIV century, the monk named German initiated the construction of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, which was built during the reign of Emperor Dusan. For this and for the subsequent fate of the monastery during the penetration of the Turkish army in the region, witnesses the writing placed on the outside wall of the south entrance of the church.
The monastery complex consists of the church dedicated to the Holy Transfiguration, church St. Peter and Paul (built later in XVII century), the belfry tower, monastic dwellings, economic and other ancillary buildings.
In second half of XIV century, the Metropolitan John (Јован) from Pelagonia and his brother Makarij created the most significant parts of the Zrze Painting School.

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Between XIV and XV century, were created the two most famous icons from the monastery: The icon of Christ the Savior and “Zhiznodavec” 1394 made by the Metropolitan John and the miraculous icon of the Holy Mary Pelagonitisa 1422, made by the  monk Makarij (Исус Христос Спасител и Жизнодавец и Богородица Пелагонитиса).

Characteristic of these icons is that their position is the reverse of the position of the icons of Jesus and Mary in other Christian churches and monasteries. In this monastery the icon of the Virgin is right, and the icon of Jesus is on the left.

These icons three times in a row were placed by the monks according to the canons of Orthodox religion, but the icons three times overnight changed the place by themselves. The third time the abbot asked the icons why they change their place, and the lips of Mary moved and she said: ” I do not want to turn my back on my son, that’s why we change our place”.
The monastery quarters during 2013 were renovated and it is expected the work to be finished in 2014 with the new asphalt road, which will make this monastery more accessible to public.


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