Urban Mansion “Machuk”

The “Machuk” historical site is within close proximity of the “Orta Mosque”. It is called Machuko and located in the old part of Strumica, on the corner of the streets “Todor Chuchkov” and “Stiv Naumov”. With a machine digging for house foundations, completely or partially destroyed parts of an older building were discovered. The protective excavations in 1988 – 1991 by the Strumica Institute and Museum showed that it is a building with many rooms where floor mosaic, foundation of a floor mosaic, a brick floor ornamented with crosses, walls with fragments of painting, pits, ceramic vessels, fragments from building ceramics, as well as architecture and decorative plastics, were found. Remains from the architecture can be found outside the location, in all directions, which suggests that the object is monumental.

According to the work and technique of building there are two building phases. An old phase, where the rooms are built with stone and mud and the floors are of brick, and a new phase, where the rest of the rooms are built with broken stone and limy mortar, with floor mosaics and remains of painting. Today, the only thing remaining from the structure is foundations, and, to some degree, the mosaics and the fresco painting that determine the time of its origin. Regarding the location, the massiveness, the architectural conception of the rooms and the remains of the interior, the mosaics and fresco painting, it can be said that the building is an urban palace from the IV – VI century. The knowledge of a settlement from the late ancient period built in the old part of the town, where continuous cultural and spiritual life was taking place, is expanded and complemented. The decoration concept of the mosaic from the site of “Machuk” together with the mosaic decorative elements from the site of the Holy Fifteen Martyrs of Tiberiopolis bear witness to the continuity of artistic expression in the city and its region in the late ancient period.