Gradešnica village in Mariovo, the birthplace of one of the most famous Macedonian folk characters “Itar Pejo” (Итар Пејо, Sly (Clever) Peter) is located on the flow of Gradeška River (Градешка Река), a natural beauty which enriches the panorama of the village.
Gradešnica is a hilly village that lies on altitude 800 meters above sea level, 52 km distant from Bitola in the Municipality of Novaci.
The date when the village is formed is not known, but according to archeological findings, in this place, continuity of life exists since prehistory. One proof for this is the ceramic plate decorated with spirals, which was built in the walls of the church St. George in the upper part of the village.
The continuity of organized living since pre-historic time in this region is testified by the findings of ceramic objects decorated with spirals, some of them build in the walls of the church St. George.
Also, what only a few people know, is the fact that in this village in 1952 a tooth of Mastodont is found. It’s one of the nine such artifacts found in Macedonia, now kept in the Museum of Nature in Belgrade.
The village celebrates the St. Ilija (Ilinden) holiday, in the nearby monastery, where large numbers of emigrants from Gradešnica and from all surrounding villages gather.
St. Demetrius church (XIV cent.)
At the entrance of the village near the cemetery the Church St. Dimitrij (Св. Димитрија) is located. The church St. Dimitrij is one of the oldest churches in the Bitola region and it dates back from the XIV century and it is built in stone and mortar, covered with stone plates.
In the interior, the altar part is divided with stone-built iconostasis, which presents true rarity.
During the First World War, the church was hit by a grenade, which had damaged the roof, but didn’t explode.
St. Nicholas church
In the center of the village, the church St. Nikola (Св. Никола, St. Nicholas) is located, which is the main church in the village Gradešnica.
Village Gradešnica is known as a village with a rich Christian tradition and in the nineteenth century, particularly in its second half, in Gradešnica intensely began work on renovations of the churches, including the church “St. Nikola”.
Above the backside of the door, there is an inscription that says the church was restored in 1863, but since when was the old church, it is not known. During the First World War, the church St. Nicholas suffered great damages as the village Gradešnica, in which almost every house was demolished.
The church is built of solid material, it was repaired in 1923, and the frescos were restored in 1927 by the painter Kosta Nikolic (Коста Николиќ) with his sons Jakim (Јаким) and Todosija (Теодосија), born in the village Lazaropole. According to the data, the church was consecrated in the same year by the Bishop of the diocese of Bitola Joseph (Јосиф).
The church “St. Nicholas” is the central church in village Gradeshnica in which residents perform all Christian traditions. Recently it has been revived and the porch was renovated.
It can be said that nature had been kind to village Gradesnica, which with its eco pure environment, is well known by its products like: “Mariovo lam”, “Bieno (beaten) cheese” and “Mariovo honey”.
Photo Gallery - Part 1
“Temnichki Vir” – Gradeshka River – Gradeshnica village, Mariovo, Macedonia
Holy Salvation church
View toward “Gaber” neighborhood