Read, Write, Run, Roam

Church on Sunday: Sveti Jovan, Macedonia


Ohrid supposedly has 365 churches-yep, one for every day of the the year-so it was hard to select a mere few for CoS posts. I thought about covering an obscure church, just to be different, but since Macedonia is relatively undiscovered I thought I’d pick a showstopper: the church of Sveti Jovan (St. John the Theologian) in Kaneo, Macedonia.

Sveti Johan sits on a cliff overlooking Lake Ohrid. The architecture looks unique due to the architect’s Armenian and Byzantine influences. The church is estimated to be well over 500 years old, and in that time, has probably been photographed a million times. I took this photo, but a google search for Sveti Jovan will yield hundreds of similar images. Most of the images are only of the exterior, because taking photos inside is strictly forbidden.

The church is tiny. No more than 20 (small) people could comfortably fit inside. Upon paying a nominal entrance fee the attendant gave us two candles and, with a wave of his hand, ushered us inside.  We stepped out of the bright sunshine, inhaled the scent of beeswax, and craned our necks to spot the numerous 13th century frescoes.


 

Images from http://www.ohrid.org.mk

The frescos are heavily damaged, but you can still trace the outlines and colors. The sheer size and number of frescoes in the small space made me feel as if I was standing in a tiny, seaside jewel box. St. Jovan may not be as grand or historically important as other Ohrid churches, but it’s certainly worth a peep-and a picture.

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