Hagia Sophia
Macedonia, Ohrid (city)

The masterpiece of the 11th century is the three-nave basilica of St. Sophia, which is known not only for becoming the center of the Ohrid Archbishopric, but also for the well-preserved frescoes of the middle of the 11th century. The most famous fresco is the image of the Mother of God on the throne with the baby Christ on her knees, which the angels worship - six figures on each side. Above the entrance to the narthex of the temple is the Virgin Mary with the baby Christ, sitting on a pillow laid directly on the ground. This type of the Mother of God will later move to Italy and will be used by artists who create the image of the humble Madonna. The Byzantine style in Macedonia is perhaps wider than in any other Slavic state. Another example of its use is the fortress in Strumica.
Initially, the church had only one main dome; in the 16th century an external extension was built. After the invasion of the Turks, the church was transformed into a mosque. The frescoes were retouched, the icons from the iconostasis were used to build the stairs, a minaret was installed on top of the northwest dome. All these changes beyond recognition distorted the appearance of the temple.
In the period 1950-1957, after a significant reconstruction, the building again took its original shape, and the frescoes and icons were returned to their rightful place. By the way, frescoes are included in the list of the highest achievements of painting of the Middle Ages in Macedonia, and portraits with images of the leaders of the Partiarchate are the most numerous, located in the very center of the room. In addition, portraits of six rulers adorn the walls of the church; they were also restored in subsequent years and returned to their place.

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