Saint Michael, Holy Archangel Michael & St. Hermit Gabriel of Lesnovo – Свети Архангел Михаил и пустиножителот Гаврил Лесновски (Лесновски манастир, Lesnovo Monastery)
Records indicate this church and monastery was built in 1341 on top of a basilica and the frescoes were completed by 1348 and in 1357 King Stefan Dusan of Serbia designated the monastery as the seat of the newly formed Zletovo Episcopate.1 During the Medieval Period, this church served as a center for Slavic literacy. This church and monastery complex is located near the village of Lesnovo on the southwestern slopes of Mt. Osogovo. The monastery is about 13.5 kilometers northeast of Probishtip and 32 kilometers southeast of Kratovo.
The origin of the monastery is tied to Gavril Lesnovski, an anchorite, a hermit monk that lived a monastic life in a cave. The monastery is located very close to this cave which is one of a series of 20 caves in the Lesnovo Crater. St. Gabriel of Lesnovo was one of four spiritual brothers, hermit monks that lived their monastic lives in caves during the same time. The other three are Joachim Osogovski (Јоаким Осоговски) with a monastery dedicated to him in Kriva Palanka, Macedonia, Prohor Pchinski (Прохор Пчински) with a monastery dedicated to him in Serbia on Mount Kozjak (about 36 kilometers north of Kumanovo) and Jovan Rilski (Јован Рилски), for which the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria is dedicated.
Approaching the Monastery
The Church Dedicated to St Michael & St Hermit Gabriel of Lesnovo
Entrances to the Church
Older Photos of the Monastery
There are pictures below showing a priest walking around the church and pounding on a wooden board with a mallet. This is a common method to alert surrounding villagers and members of the congregation that church service is about to begin.