Church St. Nicholas – Orasac

Sv. Nikola

Sv. Nikola

Sv. Nikola

Sv. Nikola
Orasac village is located southeast of the municipality of Kumanovo, near the river Pcinja, just off the road Kumanovo – St. Nikole. From Kumanovo it is 14 km away. In this village there are two churches, one older, dedicated to St. Nicholas.

The church of St. Nicholas in Orasac is unknown, unidentified and unexplored in science. The first and only mention of the church was by Dr. J. Trifunovski in 1974. It is located southeast of the village, in the locality Kaliste, next to the village cemetery, tucked away at the foot of a hill and dug into northeastern terrain where it is barely noticeable. It is a small one-nave building with a semicircular apse to the east. The structure is built of stone, with a tiled roof. According to the method of construction and location, this church was built onto an old church from the time of the Ottoman period in the 16th or 17th century. The south facade is cracked with a rectangular opening protected by iron bars and two narrow vertical incisions that spread inward, typical of churches from the Ottoman period. On the north side it is open. The western facade is the main entrance to the church, and secondary entry is on the south facade, framed by stone arches. Above the south entrance, located in a blind, is a lunar fresco of St. Nicholas, the patron of the church. On the west, the character of Jesus Christ can be seen. Both frescoes are quite damaged. Inside, the church is vaulted with a semicircular arch.

Today the church has no paintings, except for the only fresco in the altar apse. It is characteristic that in the apse, instead of the common image of the Virgin Ploughing shows Christ the Great Hierarch with a crown on his head, both arms raised up to the waist, quite damaged, but it is the only such example in the Kumanovo region and beyond.

Here, in the altar apse particular attention is drawn to a secondary embedded Roman marble stele with a Latin capital letter, which serves as a horizontal surface (table). It shows that the church was built on the foundations of an older Late Antique church that had undergone radical changes in the coming centuries through the Byzantine period and beyond.

From the church inventory, the church possesses a high wooden iconostasis, choirs and bishop’s throne from the middle of the 19th century.

This sacred object is unique and rare in its architecture in Kumanovo, and as such, is very important for the development of two important periods of the history of art in Macedonia, in the Middle (post-Byzantine period) century when it was built, and the New Century when it was attached. Unfortunately, preventative measures were not taken for its protection and today it is in poor condition. The porch with a colonnade of arches are crumbling, and there are visible traces of moisture and damaged beams/reeds in the roof. The icons are damaged, especially the side door of the iconostasis, as it is cracked along the entire height and in need of urgent care.