The Fifteen Holy Hieromartyrs of Tiberiopolis

The church complex of “The Fifteen Holy Hieromartyrs of Tiberiopolis” is located on the east side of Strumica. The oldest structure in the complex is an early Christian basilica built as a triple-aisled church in the 5th Century and decorated on the floor with a polychrome mosaic representing a cross. The basilica was built on top of the tombs of the Fifteen Holy Hieromartyrs of Tiberiopolis. A cross-shaped temple or martirium was built on top of the basilica, probably in the time of Justinian (527 A.D. -565 A.D.), but this one would also face destruction at time of the invasion of Slavs and Avars in the late 6th and early 7th Century. Another cross-shaped church was built on top of the old one somewhere in the 9th and 10 Century.

The central part of the church’s naos is a vaulted tomb with dimensions 2 meters x 0.82 meters x 1.61 meters, and the joint portrait of the martyrs is painted on the exonarthex. Crosses are painted over the north and west walls. This represents one of the oldest fresco paintings in Macedonia dating back to the 9th and 10th Century. A mention of this temple is made in the Gramota of the Serbian king Dushan (1348-1352) which is a dedication to the monastery of The Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel in Prizren. During the Ottoman period, the temple was destroyed when, in 1921, the revival of the cult was marked by building a small chapel. The foundations of the old temples were uncovered while building the new church in 1972. The new church, completed in 1974, represents a single dome, single apse structure, with a wooden iconostasis placed in 1976. The church complex also includes a guest-house on its premises.