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Church of St. Clement of Ohrid in Skopje

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Slavko Brezovski was one of the most talented Macedonian architects during the modern period. He designed and built modernist buildings in Socialist Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav Embassy in Brasilia in 1961 is his design. He was inspired by Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil and Kenzō Tange during the planning of Skopje following the 1963 Skopje earthquake. Brezoski was one of the most notable practitioners during the height of the Brutalism impact on the Architecture of the Republic of Macedonia. One of his most well-known works is the Church of St. Clement of Ohrid in Skopje.

The biggest church in Macedonia through numbers

The construction of this church began in 1972. The church is of the rotunda type, with dimensions 36 x 36 m. It consists of only domes and arcs, which covers an area of ​​about 1,000 m². Nearly 6000 people can gather in this space. When you enter the church, the iconostasis made of oak wood attracts particular attention. The main motive of the carving is flora-vine leaves and acorns. The dimensions of the iconostasis are 19.5 m in length and 12.5 m in height.

The central dome has an area of ​​650 m². For the first time in the world, Jesus Christ is painted on an area of ​​70 m², the diameter of one eye being 1.5 m. Not fitting in the orthodox churches canons, the architect left big portions for windows. Still, to avoid a large amount of light (this is common practice in a church to increase the mystique), a crystalline plexiglass is placed, which, depending on the angle at which the light falls, creates a wonderful projection of colors.

The illumination of the church is done through five tons of heavy chandelier that is placed under the central dome. About 400 lamps are arranged on it.

On a 45-meter high bell tower, located in the courtyard, left (north) from the main entrance of the church, there are 3 bells. The largest is 1000 kg, the second is 500 kg, and the third is 300 kg and all are manufactured in Austria.

In front of the church is a beautiful yard with a fountain and benches. I am not sure at what point of the existence of this church's fence. Why was it built around the church? Even though the gate is open, the concept of "open for everybody" as a religious object, is in my opinion ruined.


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The author

Zlata Golaboska

Zlata Golaboska

I am Zlata and I am an architect living in the Balkans. I am passionate about cities, how people influence architecture and vice versa, and how places change our lives.

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