Sacred heritage \ Monastery \ Skopje, Macedonia
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The monastery is situated in the valley of the Marko's River, in the vicinity of the village of Markova Sushica near Skopje (on Kitka mountain). The church is dedicated to St. Demetrius and the name Marko's monastery was acquired by its donor, the king Marko (the first son of the king Volkashin).
According to the donor's inscription the monastery was founded in 1346/47 under the king Stefan Dushan and the king Volkashin, and was finished by the king Marko in 1366, who is also the donor of the frescoes painted between 1366 and 1371.
The church is in the shape of a cross inscribed within a rectangle with a central dome, and a narthex with a blind dome on the west. The frescoes were painted by several painters coming from different art schools. Some of them are considered to be the followers of the Ohrid painter, Jovan Theorianos.
In the wall paintings dominate illustrations of scenes based on church poetry and literature. Traditional Gospel scenes are also depicted, as well as scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. The disposition of some of them is quite unusual and differs from the well-established rules. In the narthex there are scenes from the life of the patron of the church, St. Demetrius, as well as from the life of St. Nicholas the Great. Above the entrance on the Southern facade is the donor's composition, representing king Marko and his father king Volkashin.
It is unknown why the monastery is built in the vicinity of Skopje instead of Prilep the capital of their medieval kingdom. It is presumed that the grave of king Marko was here in Marko's monastery, but it was destroyed by the Turks.
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