Case study presentation

The XIX century revival basilicas in the Republic of North Macedonia: A neglected heritage, Emilija Apostolova Chalovska

The XIX century Revival basilicas in the Republic of North Macedonia constitute a stylistically relatively unified and significantly numerous group, with a dominant share in the total number of Orthodox churches in the country today. Nevertheless, their lawful protection has been largely overshadowed: on one hand, by the decorative arts that complement their architecture – especially icon painting and woodcarving, which have traditionally been considered the unique artistic achievements of the Revival temples; on the other hand, by monuments from previous eras, especially the Middle Ages, which have traditionally been considered more valuable. Therefore, unfortunately, so far only a small number of Revival churches have been the subject of research, documentation, publication, conservation and legal protection, meaning they are yet to receive the institutional treatment they deserve. In the presentation, the complex reasons for that phenomenon will be addressed. In continuation, a light will be shed on the current alarming state of preservation of the XIX century Revival basilicas, the multiple grave threats they face, the challenges and dilemmas that affect their future necessary preservation and protection and the dire need of education of the stakeholders which use (and abuse) this neglected heritage.

Emilija Apostolova Chalovska

Institute of folklore “Marko Cepenkov”, University "St. Cyril and Methodius" - Skopje

Emilija Apostolova Chalovska, PhD (Skopje, 21.05.1982), graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, University “St. Cyril and Methodius” – Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, in 2007. In 2014, she obtained her master’s degree in Conservation of architectural heritage from the Superior Technical School for Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. She obtained her doctorate degree at the School for Doctoral Studies at the same university in 2021. Her areas of expertise include XIX century Revival architecture, architectural typology and art, as well as conservation of built heritage. In addition to scientific and research activities, as her primary professional interests within the Department for traditional arts and architecture at the Institute of folklore “Marko Cepenkov”, University “St. Cyril and Methodius” – Skopje, where she is employed as assistant professor, she is also actively involved in safeguarding, protection and promotion of architectural heritage in the country and beyond.

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