During the winter of 2012, the community of Voskopoja experienced record snowfall, which caused the partial collapse of the roof of St. Nicholas Church. The church is the best and most complete of the five churches remaining in Voskopoja, and it is one of the best examples of 18th-century Orthodox ecclesiastical architecture in the country as well as the wider Balkan region. The church’s interior is adorned with original frescoes, painted by the famous Albanian painter David Selenicasi. The damage to the church roof left this important cultural artifact vulnerable to concurrent structural impairments including water leakage and ceiling cracks.
To address the damage to this important site, CHwB made an emergency conservation intervention to repair the collapsed roof. The primary objectives of the project were threefold: i) improve the structural state of the damaged roof; ii) engage local experts and craftsmen in the works; iii) establish guidelines for further maintenance.
Today, St. Nicholas Church serves as the primary church in Voskopoja – local people celebrate weekly Sunday worship services, weddings, funerals, and the high festivals of Christmas and Easter. It stands as a beautiful testament to three hundred years of local history, including the recent period of religious oppression and the people and places that survived it.