Gradeshnica Village - Mariovo
Gradeshnica is a hill village in the valley of Gradeshka River, on 850 metres altitude. No one knows when exactly the village had originated, but according to some archeological findings, there has been a continuity of life since prehistory.
According to the legend, the name comes from the people of the city “Grad” Peshta and the village Leshnica who inhabited this place. In the vicinity of the village, in 1952, a mastodon’s tooth was found, one of the nine samples of Mastodon discovered in Macedonia, which is nowadays kept in the Natural museum in Belgrade.
Gradeshnica suffered a lot in the Ilinden and post-Ilinden period, and during the First World War, the village was totally devastated with great number of casualties. The breakout of the Macedonian front happened on the area Dobro Pole, at around 15 km away from the village, a battle which, according to some historians brought to a sooner ending of the First World War.
According to the census in 1953, in the village there were 1085 people, anyway, due to the mass immigration in 2002, the number decreased to 88. In Gradeshnica there are 9 churches, out of which St. Demetrius (XIV century) is the oldest and it is situated in the entrance of the village.