The half day tour with breaks includes a trip to the slopes of Skopska Crna Gora Mountain, known as the Holly Mountain of Skopje. During the tour we will visits the cultural and historical monuments from Byzantine and post-Byzantine period associated with St. Nicholas. The tour starts with the visit of St. Nicholas church (16th century) at Radishani quarter in Skopje and proceeds with a drive throughout beautiful nature of the mountain to the firsts village of Ljubanci where St. Nicholas church (1337) is located in the middle of the village. Ljubanci contains extraordinary examples of rural architecture which can be seen with the walk toward the temple. Then the tour continue to the St. Nicholas monastery (19 century), nestled deep at the mountain above the village itself. Here, in the monastery kept well by the nuns, we will make a brake for coffee and snacks before we finish the tour with the visit of St. Nicholas church at nearby Ljuboten village.
St. Nicholas church – Radishani
St. Nicholas church – Ljubanci village
St. Nicholas monastery – Ljubanci village
St. Nicholas church – Ljuboten village.
Short Info abut St. Nicholas in Macedonia
Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students in various cities and countries around Europe. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints, and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus.
In the Republic of Macedonia where most of people are orthodox, Saint Nicholas is one of the most celebrated saints (together with St. George, St. Demetrius, St. Pantejelmon, St. Klement and Naum of Ohrid etc.).
St. Nicholas day in Macedonia it is celebrated on 19. December (according to Julius calendar) and on 22 May (known as St. Nicholas summer day). As a very common male name, it is celebrated as a name day among Macedonians and as a “slava” -a traditional celebration of the family’s patron saint. The city of St. Nicholas celebrates him with an annual city fiesta, as well as Prilep where the saint is protector of the city. In the Bigorski Monastery, a part of the honorable relics of St. Nicholas is kept and it is on permanent display in the nave of the church.
Tradition vs. religion
Be aware that in Macedonia on many levels tradition and religion are intersected the way they have to be observed very carefully. There is a lot of folk local community customs dedicated to St. Nicholas day when dozens of rituals are in practice by people, families, churches and monasteries. For example, it is widely believed on this day no home work should be done, like cleaning the house, washing the clothes etc. because its a bad sign. Reflected from tradition to religion and onward, ethnographic researchers point out that many elements of the customs and beliefs associated with St. Nicholas derives from pre-Christian times, and some beliefs, ceremonies, ritual and sacrifices, are preserved unchanged during the centuries.
St. Nicholas as a toponim
Many locations in Macedonia bears St. Nicholas’ name, from the cities and municipalities, to the local religious temples. Many churches and temples are dedicated to this Orthodox saint, and practically the is thousands of places in Macedonia where St. Nicholas name is present.
Departure: at request
Duration: 7-8 hours
Time: at request
Guide: Vasilka Dimitrovska, M. Sci in archaeology and professional tourist guide
Price: 70 EUR per person
Included: Licensed guide; transport, tickets, snacks
Excluded: Gratuities (optional)
Getting around: Walking
Minimum people required: 3
Maximum people allowed: 6
Itinerary: St. Nicholas church (16th century) at Radishani, St. Nicholas church (~14th century) at Ljubanci village, St. Nicholas monastery (19 century) at Ljubanci village and St. Nicholas church (1337) at Ljuboten village. All villages are on the slopes of Skopska Crna Gora Mountain nearby Skopje
You can book a tour, or you can contact us in the following ways:
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By phone: 00 389 77 432 861
Unqualified guides аrе illegal in the Republic of Macedonia. Make sure your tourist guide is licensed!