Staravina village, once a center of the Staravina Municipality is located 50 km from Bitola. This village is known for the story of Kalesh Angja, a beautiful girl from Mariovo region, which at the cost of her life, resisted the Turkish “Kadi” (judge), refusing to change her religion and to become his wife.

Калеш Анѓа - Масло на платно - автор - Дејан Макриевски
Kalesh Angja – oil on canvas – author – Dejan Makrievski

Kalesh Angja was captured in an insidious manner and her rescue from the Kadi’s home is in some way an introduction to an organized uprising against the Ottoman Empire or the so-called “Mariovo Rebellion” (1564/65).

The population in Mariovo region gave a great resistance to the Ottoman army, however, surrounded by all sides, the population had to withdraw to “Peshta” fortress, located between the villages Staravina and Gradeshnica. Unable to conquer the fortress, the Ottoman army managed to locate and cut the underground canal, through which the fortress was supplied with water. Without water, part of the population decided to fight to the death at the gates of the fortress, while the others were surrendered and part was taken prisoners in Istanbul.

Поглед кон „Тврдината Пешта“
View toward “Fortress Pešta”

According to historical records, Pesta Fortress existed since the time of ancient Macedonian kings. After the Mariovo Rebellion, it lost its original purpose and was left abandoned. Today it is destroyed, largely because of the bombing during the First World War, but it still remains as a mute witness of the tumultuous past in these areas. The location itself offers picturesque panoramas to all sides of Mariovo region and is a great location for short hiking excursions all year round.

In 1953, Staravina village had 741 inhabitants and was an administrative center of Bitola part of Mariovo. In the village, there were military barracks, police, post office, ambulance and 8-year primary school (built in 1950), in which attended pupils from the villages Gradeshnitsa, Budimirci, Gruniste and Zovich.
In 1997 Staravina Municipality was established, including the villages from Bitola part of Mariovo region, which was later joined to the Municipality of Novaci.

According to the 2002 census, Staravina village had 22 inhabitants, a number even smaller today.

The village celebrates the Great Christian holiday dedicated to the Mother of God (August 28).

Успение на пресвета Богородица
Church – Dormition of the Mother of God

The church Dormition of the Mother of God (Успение на пресвета Богородица) is situated in the center of Staravina village. It was built in 1860 and fresco painted in 1887. The frescoes’ signatures were originally written in Greek, and after the rebuilding after the First World War in Old Slavic language. During the First World War, the front line passed through the village and the church and all houses were severely damaged.

Горна Црква село Старавина, Мариово
Upper Church village Staravina, Mariovo

At the entrance to the village on the right side, you cannot but notice the object so-called “The Upper Church”. According to the local population, the church was built by the Serbian authorities after the First World War, with intention of using it as an ossuary for the killed Serbian soldiers on this part of the Macedonian Front. However, the church was never completed because it was not accepted by the local population. Although solid in structure, this church still stands without a roof and lonely at the entrance of the village.

Next to the church parts of bunkers can be seen, remnants of the front line that stretched across Staravina village during the First World War.

Бункер од Првата светска војна во село Старавина
World War I bunker in Staravina village

In the vicinity of Staravina village, the monastery dedicated to St. Athanasius (Св. Атанасиј) is located.

Манастир Св. Атанасиј, Старавина
Monastery St. Athanasius (Св. Атанасиј)

The old monastery church dates from 1860, and in the immediate vicinity is the new church which was built recently. Monastery St. Athanasius is situated at an extremely convenient position, from where the visitors “on the palm have all Mariovo region”.

Поглед од манастирот Св. Атанасиј, Старавина
View from the monastery St. Atanasij, Staravina
Поглед од манастирот Св. Атанасиј, Старавина
View from the monastery St. Atanasij, Staravina
Поглед од манастирот Св. Атанасиј, Старавина
View from the monastery St. Atanasij, Staravina

The monastery celebrates the holidays St. Athanasius the Great on May 14 and 15 and the Transfiguration of Christ on August 18 and 19.

Contact for the monastery St. Atanasij:

  • Ile Josevski / +389 75 237 778 (Viber) / ilcekasap@hotmail.com

How to get to Staravina village

To the village leads the regional road R1311, which from Bitola through the villages Logovardi, Novaci, Makovo, Rapesh, leads to Staravina village (50 km) and ends in Gradeshnica village (52 km). A large part of this road is asphalted (47 km) and about 3 km is a dirt road that is expected to be asphalted in 2019.

Suggested Jeep tours near Gradeshnica village: