It’s amazing how the country you live in can always surprise you with something new, point you to a hidden gem waiting for you to discover it.
During our visit to the Monastery Lesnovo, located on the south-west slopes of Mountain Osogovo, in the middle of a volcanic crater, we visited another special place by recommendation.
You can see the holes in the hill on the next photo, this is the view from the road that leads to the monastery, and those holes are the caves.
The monastery is located in a secluded region which was popular with hermits of the 11th century. One of them, St. Gabriel of Lesnovo, lived in the local caves.
From this period it is known that a number of hermitages operated in the caves around the monastery. Many from the numerous fraternity were also living as hermits, including the first bishop, Arsenije I, who was buried in one of them.
These caves were made by many generations of people who were cutting millstones from the rocks. You will see unfinished millstones (like the one I’m sitting on the previous photo) everywhere on the floors and walls of the caves.
Many of the cave halls were used in the past by monks in their spiritual quest and isolation from the world. The cave rooms are interconnected and walking from through the narrow hole from on hall to another was so exiting. We didn’t expect them to be so large and interesting. The kids enjoyed this especially, running in front of us exploring the caves and the holes. The echo was amazing, and thanks to the holes in walls there is light and good visibility everywhere.
One of the trails lead from the village to the caves. There are also other trails, the closest one is from the opposite side of the caves, it takes approximately 15 minutes walking from the asphalt road to the entrance of the first cave. It took us about half an hour to explore and see everything. We passed through the caves in a hurry, but the pleasure of exploring this mystic place was priceless.
The closest townlet is Zletovo which together with Lesnovo belongs to the municipality of Probistip.
Thank you for reading.