Photographer's Note

Travels on the Silk Road:

The Roman connection from Rome to China led first to Byzance, through Albania and Ohrid/Macedonia. A little off the Via Egnatia part of the Silk Road you can discover the Monastery of Sveti Jovan Bigorski in the scenic Radika gorge near Debar, Macedonia. (See "mishe" in TE for a good shot of the monastery). It really drives home the lesson that the Byzantine empire, gone since so many centuries, has left a strong cultural legacy, examples seen everywhere from Switzerland right through Georgia and even Chechenya. The curch was decorated inside the way it is seen today, in early 19th century, yet the paintings and the wooden ikonostase are clearly in traditional byzantine style, if somewhat amended. The region where it had been built was under Ottoman rule since the 15th century! The only Orthodox monk present when I visited explained to me that the songs during mass were based on 1000-year-old rules ---then he started singing to me! Go see Sveti Jovan Bigorski for yourself and feel transported back to the time of Silk Road trade. (thank you, Saso and Goran "chamur" for pointing out an error, I corrected it now).

I took the slide by hand by supporting it on a stool. Speed 1/6; f/2.8, no flash.I sharpened it in PS. Enjoy

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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