Bitrakova-Grozdanova was born in 1939 in Ohrid, where she finished the high school (1958). She received her higher education at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, Department of Archeology (1962), where she also completed her Master’s Degree (1972) and received her PhD (1984) with the topic “Monuments from Hellenistic Period on the territory of SR Macedonia”.
She began her professional career as a curator at the National Museum in Ohrid (1963‒1972) and later continued her work at the Archaeological Museum in Skopje (1972‒1975). In 1975 she was elected professor at the Institute of Art History and Archeology at the University “St. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje, where she stayed until her retirement. She was also a professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje (1978‒1997). She conducted archaeological excavations in Ohrid, Golem Grad – Prespa, Struga, Oktisi, Delogozda, Kratovo, Stobi, etc.
During her working life, Bitrakova-Grozdanova completed many study visits abroad: in France at the Institut d’art et d’archeologie – Universités de Paris and the Faculté des letters et sciences humaines ‒ Besançon (1967 and 1993); in Germany, as a guest of the Institute of Ancient History and Archeology, at the Zentralinstitut für Alte Geschichte und Archäologie der DDR (1979); in Bulgaria, as a guest of the Faculty of History in Sofia, Department of Tracology (1980); in Albania, as a guest of Académie des Sciences d’Albanie ‒Institut d’archaéologie (1980); in Greece, as a scholar of the Greek Government (1968/69), as a guest of the Ministry of Culture (1982), and as a guest of Ecole Française d’Athenes (1999).
Bitrakova-Grozdanova became a regular member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2009.
During her career, Bitrakova-Grozdanova has been involved in a number of archaeological researches in Macedonia and abroad, has been the head of a number of scientific research projects and the organizer of numerous scientific meetings. She has presented the results of her scientific observations in over 150 scientific articles and monographs published in the country and abroad. She has been a contributor and editor of the journal Macedoniae acta archaeologica (1988-1996) and of the journal Histria Antiqua (Pula, 1994-2011), Ziva antika as well as a member of the International Research Center Council in Pula.
For her achievements she was decorated with many national awards: the Prize “Goce Delčev” as the highest national recognition for the work “Monuments of the Hellenistic Period in SR Macedonia” (1988), the Prize “Clement of Ohrid” for achievements in culture (2007), a Plaque by the Paionion Numismatic Society in 2013, for the development of numismatics in the Republic of Macedonia), as well as with international decorations. In 1999 she won the Herder-Preise Prize (Alfred Toepfer Stiftung FVS Foundation, Vienna) for an outstanding contribution to science in the field of art history and early Christian archeology and for introducing Europe with the Macedonia’s cultural heritage; the Georgiev’s Medal of Honor Golden Fortuna “Honor, Freedom, Labor” in 2003 (Kiev); and the “Spomenica” of the International Research Center of Archeology (Medulin, Pula).
Her most important monographs: Monuments paléochretiens de la région ďOhrid, Ohrid 1975;Monuments de l’époque hellénistique dans la République S. de Macédoine, Skopje 1987; Religion et art dans l’antiquité en Macédoine : études, Skopje 2000; Golem grad Prespa, vol. I, Skopje 2011; Golem grad Prespa, vol. II, Skopje 2015, Lychnidos et Dassaretie, Skopje 2017, etc.
Photo: Vera Bitrakova-Grozdanova (Source: the photo was received by akad. Vera Bitrakova-Grozdanova).
Author: Biljana Ristovska-Josifovska