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For eponymous churches, see Hagia Sophia (disambiguation).

Church of St. Sophia
Iglesia de Santa Sofía, Ohrid, Macedonia, 2014-04-17, DD 11.JPG
Narthex of St Sophia
Rear courtyard.
Ceiling frescoes in the Church of St. Sophia.

The Church of St. Sophia (Macedonian: Црква Света Софија, Crkva Sveta Sofija) is located in the city of Ohrid, North Macedonia. The church is one of the most important monuments of North Macedonia, housing architecture and art from the Middle Ages.



The church was built during the First Bulgarian Empire, after the official conversion to Christianity. Some sources date the building of the church during the rule of Knyaz Boris I (852 – 889).[1]

Originally a synod church of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, later of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, it was subsequently converted into a mosque during the rule of the Ottoman Empire.[2] The interior of the church has been preserved with frescoes from the 11th, 12th and 13th century, which represent some of the most significant achievements in Byzantine painting of the time. The main part of the church was built in the 11th century, while external additions were built by Archbishop Gregory II in the 14th century.

In November 2009, the Macedonian Orthodox Church introduced a new Coat of Arms with church of St. Sophia as a charge on the shield.[3]

A detail from the church is depicted on the reverse of the Macedonian 1000 denars banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Boris Cholpanov - "Land of a global crossroads", Sofia, 1993, Bulgarian Academy of Science, page 131 (the original is in Bulgarian)
  2. ^ Frucht, Richard (2005). Eastern Europe: an introduction to the people, lands, and culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 928. ISBN 978-1-57607-800-6. page 613
  3. ^ "Македонско хералдичко здружение".
  4. ^ National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonian currency. Banknotes in circulation: 1000 Denars[dead link] (1996 issue) & 1000 Denars Archived 2008-03-29 at the Wayback Machine (2003 issue). – Retrieved on 30 March 2009.

External linksEdit