The cave church of St. Archangel Mikhail in Radozhda



The cave church dedicated to the Leader of the Heavenly Forces, Archangel Michael was built in the natural caves high in the rocks in one of the most beautiful areas on the west coast of Lake Ohrid, above the village of Radozda. The church got today’s architectural look in the 14th century when also it was decorated inside with fresco painting.

The cave church dedicated to Archangel Michael has continued its existence until today. The iconostasis and the cross are from 1840. The cross may have modest artistic value, however it is important for research and analysis of the Miyak Art School from the 19th century.

                                                       

  Part of the discovered frescoes come from the 12th century and they show that the younger painters who came a hundred years later to paint the church didn’t destroy the bottom layer of the fresco painting and basically followed the old theme. We should mention only a few compositions that deserve the attention of the international public. The composition "The Wonder in Hona", with the remarkable character of the Archangel Michael – one of the oldest scenes in fresco-painting in the entire Christian art. The artist who painted this character is presented not only as a talented master, but also as a progressive creator who arranged new unknown artistic ideals - by giving the image internal allusiveness.

 

In addition to the painted compositions from the series called Great Holidays and the sufferings of Christ, there is also the newly discovered portrait of the patron and protector of the city of Ohrid, St. Clement. The paintings in this cave church are some of the last works of the Ohrid School of Painting from the 14th century. The content and iconography was basically preserved, but still there is a difference from the older works of the Ohrid painting circle. The portraits abandon the classical forms and the compositions reflect the spirit of the folk tales.

 

The cave church dedicated to Archangel Michael has continued its existence until today. The iconostasis and the cross are from 1840. The cross may have modest artistic value, however it is important for research and analysis of the Miyak Art School from the 19th century.