St Nicholas the Wonderworker – Psacha

"St Nicholas the Wonderworker – Psacha"

Three kilometers away from the highway leading from Kumanovo to Kriva Palanka, far in the village of Psacha, among the picturesque oak and acacia trees, situated is the church dedicated to St Nicholas the Wonderworker.

Despite the scarce historical data, it is considered that the church was built in 1345. The church, as well as its founder – Vlatko the landlord – is mentioned in a document, issued on March 25, 1358. Judging by the preserved southern wall portraits, the Sebastocrator Vlatko and his father Prince Paskach can be acknowledged as founders of the church.

During the conservation work of the church it has been determined that the sign above the westеrn door was destroyed in 1876, because it contained the names of the King Urosh and Volkashin. The inscriptions on the portraits of these two rulers on the northern wall have also been destroyed.

Црква „Св. Николај Чудотворец“
Church of St Nicholas the Wonderworker

The church was built on cruciform ground plan, in rectangular space, with a dome rising on four pillars and narthex, also with a dome. The central dome has been destroyed, and the church for a long time remained entirely uncovered. On the eastern side the church has three-sided apse. It was built out of stone blocks, craggy stone and bricks.

The frescoes have been preserved from the period of the building of the church and they are among the most acknowledged icon-painting achievements of Macedonian medieval art. Of a great value are the realistic portraits of the founders, the Sebastocrator Vlatko, his father Prince Paskach and their wives. Preserved are also the frescoes of St Joachim of Osogovo (from 1371), St Mercurius (with signature on the sword), St Clement of Ohrid (from 1366), St Achilles, St Dionysius, St Constantine and Helen equal to the Apostles and St Spyridon the Wonderworker.

In the altar apse in full size are depicted patriarchs St Athanasius the Great, St John Chrysostom, St Gregory the Theologian and St Basil the Great.