The basilica of the Holy Mother of God in Vranishta

      The church "Sv. Bogoroditsa Prechista (Holy Mother of God Most Innocent)" in the village of Vranishta is a rarity not only in Macedonia, but on the Balkans, as well. This church, built in the 9th or 10th century is the only oriental basilica, three-nave with one two-sided roof. The central nave received the light of day through the windows in the altar apse and in the lateral (south and north) walls of the basilica. The mystic atmosphere created in the interior by this type of lighting connects this basilica to the Orient, as opposed to other basilicas in Macedonia (and generally), where their central nave is lighted through the windows in its own lateral walls. From the outside, three naves had apses.

      Judging by the material with which the church was built (limestone for the walls and ceilings, brought from a great distance, and bricks for the arcs), and especially by the shape of the naves and their apses, and by the legend that the Macedonian tzar Samoil was crowned here (the local population calls it "The Royal Church" even today) it most probably originates from this era. At the moment, it is the only monument in Macedonia, besides the cathedral church St. Sofia in Ohrid and St. Achiles in Prespa, that is connected to the times of Samoil with great certainty.