Saint George the Great Martyr, Sveti Gjorgji Velikomačenik (Свети великомаченик Ѓорѓи) –in Staro Nagoričane (Старо Нагоричане, Staro Nagorichane)
This 11th century church dedicated to St. George the Great Martyr is located in the village of Staro Nagorichane about 14 kilometers northeast of Kumanovo, Macedonia, just off the highway headed to Kriva Palanka. This church originally constructed in 1071 A.D. and was reconstructed in the early 14th century, around 1313, through the patronage of King Stefan Milutin.
During the early 14th century renovation the frescoes were painted by Michael Astrapas and Eutychios (Mikhail and Eutihije). Other frescoes by Michael and Eutychios are featured at the Church of Saint Clement at Ohrid, the Church of Holy Virgin of Ljeviša in Prizren and the St. Nicetas (Sv. Nikita) Monastery in Gornjani.
The St. Prohor of Pčinja Deer Legend
According to the local legend, Romanus IV (Romanos IV Diogenes), before he became a Byzantine emperor, was hunting in the nearby woods and wounded a deer. The deer escaped the woods and returned home to the cave where she lived with St. Prohor. St. Prohor told Romanus IV that if he spared the deer’s life, upon his return to Constantinople he would be crowned the Byzantine Emperor. In St. Prohor’s honor and as a gesture of gratitude, Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes had this church constructed between 1067 – 1071 A.D.
In 1330 during the Battle of Velbazhd (modern day Kyustendil, Bulgaria), the Bulgarian Emperor Mihail Šišman died while fighting the forces of Serbian King Stefan Uroš III and reportedly the Bulgarian emperor is buried within a wall of this church.
PHOTOS BY DB TYGART
- Source – Museum of Kumanovo