Skochivir village for the first time is mentioned in the Turkish census of 1468. The village is situated at 600 meters altitude, where nearby Crna (Black) River enters the canyon and interrupts its “peaceful flow.” It is presumed that from this is derived the name of the village: “Skoci” – jump, jumping and “vir” – pool.
Skocivir is located on the left bank of the Crna River and from here begins the longest canyon in Macedonia, “Skochivir Canyon” long 104 km. In this part of Crna River, a bottleneck is formed, which many times in the past caused periodic flooding, spill of the river and did massive damage.
Near village Skocivir there are several ancient sites as evidence of the rich past of this region. Gradiste, Petalinskо Kale and Markovo Kale are settlements from the Iron Age, and we must not forget the Skochivir inscription, carved on a rock next to Crna River.
Village Skocivir and its estate cover an area of 90.5 km2 and the village celebrates the religious holiday St. Petka. Within the village, there is a temple of the St. Petka built in 1860, and in the vicinity of the village is the very famous monastery of St. Archangel Michael.
St. Petka, church
The church dedicated to St. Petka (Св. Петка) in Skocivir village was built in 1860. Located in the upper part of the village and in its yard are the village cemeteries and graves of soldiers which died in this region during the First World War.
The church has rich fresco painting, which is in a relatively poor condition.
St. Archangel Michael monastery
According to the legend the monastery was built in 1870 on an initiative of young girl Angja, after she had a dream to spend one night in the nearby place called “Dzajkova chuka”, at the spring which locals believe is holy water.
In the years that followed, а small monastery is built there dedicated to St. Archangel Michael.
In 1967 the local population started the new home for St. Archangel Michael, near the old monastery. This object was renovated in 1998, when a hospice is built, one of the most attractive in the area.
Cross above Skochivir village
Recently on the hill opposite the village of Skochivir, near the monastery St. Archangel Michael, a metal cross was built. Up to the Cross leads an asphalt road, and if you are near Skocivir village, do not miss visiting it, due to the beautiful panoramas available from this location.
Konjarka picnic location
Konjarka is a picnic location 2 km near Skochivir village. It is situated beside the clean “Konjarka” River whose spring is located near the peak Kajmakchalan, to the border with neighboring Greece at an altitude of 2,260 m.
The riverbed of Konyarka River is directed west, and the entire basin is formed in the forest area. In “Crna River” it flows below the hill “Vrh” at an altitude of 550 m. It is 15 km long river and it has an area of 63 km2 and a relative decline of 114 ‰.
Recently, the Konjarka picnic area was completely renovated by the Municipality of Novaci and today it is one of the most popular picnic locations in this part of Macedonia.
Kajmakcalan is the highest peak of Mount Nidze (2.521 m) and during the First World War one of the key positions on the Macedonian front. Kajmakcalan is located about 30 km from the village of Skocivir, along a forest road in the direction of the picnic area Konjarka.
Skochivir village during WW1
During the First World War, the village of Skochivir found itself on the actual front line in the autumn of 1916, and later when the fighting moved to only few kilometers away, it became an important communication point for the forces of the Entente armies.
Near the village was built the so-called “French Road” connecting the villages of Skochivir and Chegel (devasteted during the war), and there was also a cable car between these two villages that served for the delivery of military material.
In 1916 in Thessaloniki was established the hospital of the Russian princess Alexandra Naryshkina, from which a department was later established in the village of Skochivir, and in 1917 a field hospital as part of the Scottish women hospital unit was stationed near the village.
This in a way explains the great number of WWI graves that can be seen on two marked grave locations near the village.
The first location is the church of St. Petka, located in the upper part of the village, where also are the village cemeteries, and the second location are the cemetery, which is located about 1.5 km from the village, on the road leading to Kajmakcalan, passing through the picnic location Konjarka. On both locations, graves are from soldiers who fought in the Serbian army.
WW1 cemeteries – gallery