This is one of the few examples in the world of an Orthodox cathedral of modernist architecture, which was built under a communist regime between 1970 and 1990. Located next to the headquarters of the Autocephalous Church of Macedonia, it is the largest Orthodox place of worship in the country, capable of accommodating up to 6,000 people. The building was designed by architect Slavko Brezovski (1922-2017), one of the leading figures of the modernist/brutalist movement in the country, who is the author of the Yugoslav Embassy in Brazil and others.
Names. Most often called Soborna crkva ("the cathedral") by the inhabitants, the cathedral is dedicated to Saint Clement of Ohrid (Sveti Klimenti Ochridski - c. 840-916), the 1st bishop of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church who was at the origin of the Cyrillic alphabet. It was officially consecrated on August 12, 1990, the supposed date of the 1,150th anniversary of the birth of Saint Clement of Ohrid. But the building itself is dedicated to the Mother of God (Bogorodica). Inside, the two chapels are dedicated to Saint Constantine and Saint Helena (the first Byzantine emperor and his mother who brought the relic of Christ's cross from Jerusalem) for one and to Saint Menas (Egyptian martyr of the 4th century) for the other.
Architecture. The rotunda-shaped building is one of the most original modern architectural achievements in the country. Around the main dome, four large arches form a 36 m square. But the cathedral has only an interweaving of domes and arches on the outside, without any walls with a flat surface. Under the 650 m² central dome are the Archbishop's throne, 3.50 m high, a chandelier weighing 5 t and the iconostasis 19.50 m long and 12.50 m high. The painter Jovan Petrov (born in 1936), whose painting is on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, has created the huge 70 m2 fresco representing Christ. It is one of the largest in the world, with here the eyes of Christ with a diameter of 1.50 m. In a less academic way, the apostles are not represented standing, but sitting. The fountain at the entrance of the building is a gift from the Muslim community of the Republic of Macedonia. Finally, the 45 m high bell tower, located in the courtyard (north side), houses 3 bells offered by Austria that weigh 1 t, 500 kg and 300 kg respectively.
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