Title of the article:



Nikita S. Gusev

Information about the author/authors

Nikita S. Gusev — PhD in History, Scientific Secretary, The Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Ave 32 А, 119991 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9573-7018
E-mail: gusevns@gmail.com 


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 65


pp. 26–43


March 08, 2022

Approved after reviewing

May 05, 2022

Date of publication

September 28, 2022



Index UDK


Index BBK



This research has been performed with support of the Russian Science Foundation (RSF), project № 20-18-00294.


The study shows the process of “discovery” of medieval monuments of architecture and monumental painting on the territory of modern Northern Macedonia by Russian travelers. The work is based on materials that introduced the Russian reader to the objects of cultural heritage — book, magazine and newspaper publications. Chronologically, the article covers the period from the first half of the 19th century, when the first fragmentary mentions of monasteries and temples appeared, to 1909 — the publication of N. P. Kondakov's book on the results of his expedition to the region. The paper traces route of travelers, addresses their information about the state of monuments and considers reliability of the information published by them. Before the Russian-Turkish War of 1877–1878, there was little interest in these territories. Only travelogues by V. I. Grigorovich, M. A. Khitrovo and M. F. Karlova were published on the topic of the study. In the wake of the fascination with the Balkans in the late 1870s, V. I. Grigorovich's book was republished and the notes of Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin) about his journey, written earlier in 1865, were published. Then, until the end of the century, this part of the peninsula sank into oblivion, and only in connection with the aggravation of the Macedonian issue, it began to attract new wanderers. However, they paid attention to the ethno-religious situation, mostly ignoring cultural monuments. As a result, despite a fairly wide range of authors of travel essays on Macedonia at the turn of the 20th century, only P. N. Milyukov, A. A. Bashmakov and P. A. Rittikh mentioned medieval temples. The reason for this is that the Macedonian lands were presented to the Russian society as a kind of exotic part of the East, and therefore the medieval cultural heritage gave rise to unjustifiably disdainful attitude.


North Macedonia, architecture, painting, frescoes, monasteries, churches, Russian society, travelers, travelogues.


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