Demir Hisar (Macedonian: Демир Хисар) is a municipality located in western North Macedonia, south of Kruševo. The municipality has under 10,000 residents spread across 40 villages and the town of Demir Hisar, which is the municipality's seat. Many of these villages are prime examples of rural Macedonian life.
Demir Hisar Municipality roughly corresponds to the historical region of Železnik, so named for the large amounts of iron ore found in the mountainous area. The municipal center was previously known as Murgaševo but today it is named Demir Hisar, its Turkish name. The municipality is inhabited almost entirely by ethnic Macedonian Orthodox Christians.
Churches & monasteries
- 1 Slepče Monastery (Слепченски манастир) (village of Slepče). Situated in the valley of Ilino Mountain just west of Slepče, this monastery was most likely established in the late 14th century. The main church as it exists today, however, was primarily built in the 19th century. Following the Ilinden Uprising of 1903, the monastery was attacked by the Ottomans.
- 2 Church of Saint Elijah (Црква „Св. Илија“) (village of Velmevci). This church was built in 1838 in the middle of Velmevci. It is a large, white three-nave church. Its iconostasis was completed in 1873, while its frescoes were done in 1874. The church is historically significant as the oath of the Demir Hisar Conspiracy was made here in 1880.
- 3 Toplički Monastery (Топлички манастир). This 14th century monastery was historically not only a religious center but also an educational and cultural hub. Its main church was built upon ruins of an older basilica, though it was demolished and rebuilt in the 16th century. Its fresco work was also done around this time. The stone church is most of what remains from the monastery's peak as a literary and translation center. Unfortunately, it is in somewhat rough condition and has not had a church service in years.
- 4 Žurčevski Monastery (Журчевски манастир) (village of Žurče). A medieval monastery with its main church dedicated to Saint Athanasius. Once abandoned around 1900, it now boasts a healthy monastic life. Until 1998, it changed from a male to a female monastery. The main church features a large porch, unique to the Demir Hisar region, and an attached bell tower. It was built in 1617 and its fresco worked was also done around that time. The grounds also contain a historic library.
- 5 Church of Saint Petka (Црква „Св. Петка“) (village of Sloeštica). This church contains the village's cemetery which is home to the final resting place of famed Macedonian writer Petre M. Andreevski.
- 6 Church of the Ascension of Christ (Црква „Вознесение Христово“) (village of Mrenoga). This church was built sometime between the 14th and 16th centuries. The square-shaped church has some interesting details in architecture, particularly in its arched windows. Capped with red shingles, the church also has a stone bell tower.
The village of Smilevo is known for its importance during the era of the Ilinden Uprising in the early 20th century. The Smilevo Congress, where it was decided to stage uprisings throughout Macedonia, occurred here in early May of 1903. It is also the birthplace of one of the foremost revolutionaries of the time, Dame Gruev.
- 7 Memorial Museum of the Smilevo Congress (Меморијален музеј на Смилевскиот конгрес). Construction on this museum began 100 years after the Smilevo Congress of 1903. It was completed the following year and is divided into five sections: the memorial room of the Smilevo Congress, Smilevo in the Ilinden Uprising, the Dame Gruev memorial room, the Partisan memorial room, and the Smilevo ethnological room.
- 1 Restaurant Babino, s. Babino, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Fish dishes, Garden, Barbecue, fish pond, Macedonian traditional food
- 2 Restoran kafe Kostence, s.Smilevo, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 3 Restoran kafe Kostence, s.Smilevo, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 4 Restaurant Vila Kaj Aleksandar, village of Slepce, ☏ . fish dishes, fish pond, traditional food, garden, grill
- Gorna kuka Villa Restoran, Selo Slepche, bb, ☏ .
- Kruševo, historic town north of Demir Hisar