The “Sveti Spas” church, located east of the Kale Fortress, is the oldest church in the central city area of Skopje. According to expert literature, it was built around late 17th , or early 18th century, after the 1689 fire that left most of the town devastated. In the past, it was a holy place where the people of Skopje gathered for morning liturgies, the priests performed the Holy secrets and candles were lit for health and salvation of the living, and for peace of the souls of the deceased. Today, it is a museum where you can go to see the beautiful iconostasis.
It is usually closed during the Christmas holidays, but if you really want to go inside, the employees
will certainly not reject you, as we found out when we went to visit the complex.
“Sveti Spas” is a threenave church. The middle nave is arched while the side naves are flat and covered with boards. It was built during the Ottoman reign and, because the Turks didn’t allow the sanctuaries to dominate the surroundings, it had to be built in the ground. Several steps down, and you are inside the church.
The exterior of the church is modest, but when you step inside, it is difficult to remain indifferent to the interior. The beautiful iconostasis, which is 10 meters long and 6 meters high, is glowing in the dark space. The beautiful deep carving, depicting motives from the Old and the New Testament, is a proof that this region has given the very best masters of this craft. There are also different geometrical ornaments, as well as flora and fauna figures depicted.
According to its construction, the iconostasis can be divided into five horizontal zones: the base, the gallery of throne icons, architrave, attic and the top. Experts have noted that the great artistic value of the iconostasis is in the softness of the lines, the nicely carved forms, the masterful stylization and the baroque diversity. The throne icons were mostly made with the iconostasis. In its upper section, there is an icon dedicated to the Birth of Christ, a holiday we celebrate on 7th January, a day that was marked in this church in the past as well, which is why the church has been closed for this great day.