2014 World Monuments Watch
The Monastery of Poloshko, located in the Kavadarci region of Macedonia, is an excellent example of Late Byzantine architecture in the Balkans, with well-preserved frescoes and decorative elements. The monastery was built in 1340 at the request of close relatives of King Dušan, a powerful Serbian monarch credited with staving off Ottoman invasions during his reign. The surviving church, dedicated to St. George, also contains a later set of wall paintings in the narthex—the area in the church’s western nave, opposite the main altar—that date from 1609. The church was subject to extensive repairs in the late nineteenth century. When the artificial Lake Tikveš was created in the valley of the River Crna in the 1960s, the village that had grown around the monastery disappeared, leaving the church alone on higher ground and only reachable by water.
Over time, conditions of the monastery’s interior have steadily deteriorated and no clear management plan has been developed for stewardship of the site. Fortunately there is an active monastic sisterhood that cares for the building, and local communities value the site as a setting for recreational opportunities in the area, as well as a gathering place for the feasts of St. George and Dormition of the Holy Virgin. The monastery was included on the 2014 World Monuments Watch in order to increase public awareness of its beauty and significance, and to galvanize collective action to restore and sustain its legacy for future generations.