St. Spas in Skopje
See and learn about the iconostasis of the church.
The church was built on an earlier cult location, around the mid-XVI century, and dedicated to St. Spas. The testimony of that are the remainders of the southern wall with their preserved frescoes, discovered after the disastrous 1963 earthquake, later incorporated into the southern wall of the subsequently built church.
The exterior of the church is unassuming. It's present entrance leads down several stairs, the result of the immense deposits of soil that accumulated around its walls, gradually burying the building. The church is three-naval in shape. The central nave is vaulted, and the side ones are flat and covered with boards. In the rear section of the church a wooden gallery was constructed for the female believers.
The present shape of the church dates from the XIX century.
The iconostasis of St. Spas
The Lower Town's guilds and merchants donated the construction of one of the most beautiful carved iconostases, finished in 1824. The work was entrusted to the esteemed carving team lead by Master Petre Filipovski, known as "Garka", born in the village Gari in the region of Mala Reka. The team also included his brother Marko, and Makarie Frckovski from the village of Galicnik. Their collective artistic efforts lasted for 6 years, from 1819 to 1824.
The iconostasis is 10 metres wide, and 6 metres high. Its carved sections are divided into five horizontal zones. The upper section of the iconostasis ends with a large "Serpent Cross", with the joining icons of Holy Mother and St. John. That section of the iconostasis is gilded.
The master carver Petre Filipovski -Garka and his team also were the authors of the iconostases in the churches of the Lesnovo and Bigorski monasteries. The latter is deemed the masterpiece of the carvings in Macedonia.
The theological programme of the carved iconostasis in the church of St. Spas comprises both Old and New Testaments topics. Also various geometrical ornaments, flora and fauna figures, and other motifs were used. What was new in the presentations of this iconostasis is, certainly, the depiction of Salome in the composition "The Emperor Herod's Feast", dressed in the women's costume from the region of Mijac, as well as the portrayals of the carving team depicted while working.
On the iconostasis there are also numerous icons, set in two rows. The bottom contains large dais icons, and the upper smaller, Holiday icons. There are also several icons in the church outside the iconostasis. Majority of them are the works of the famous Dicho Zograf from the village of Tresonche.
The Box in which the bones of the great revolutionary and ideologist of the Macedonian Revolution, Goce Delcev (1872 - 1903), were transported is kept in the church's narthex, and in it's courtyard is the marble sarcophagus in which they rest.