SerbianLatinEnglish (UK)
Sunday, 21 January 2018

Monastery Zica

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Žiča is the monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church which is located near the town of Kraljevo. The monastery,
Monastery Žiča together with the Church of the Ascension of Christ, was built by the first Serbian king Stefan the First Crowned between the 1205 and 1225 year.

The monastery was destroyed in the XIII century, but was re-built by King Stefan Milutin in early XIV century.

When, at the beginning of the thirteenth century Saint Sava returned from the holy mountain Athos to Serbia, the Serbian state was shaken by conflict between the Serbian throne successors, Stefan and Vukan. After reconciling his feuding brothers, St. Sava, along with prince Stefan decided to build a monastery Žiča Serbian Imperial Lavra(monastery settlement). A place where the monastery was built is as far from Constantinople and as from Rome, which meant that Serbia is at the crossroads between the Orthodox East and Catholic West.

Ecumenical Patriarch Manuel Saranten Haritopul and vasilevs (emporor)Theodore I Lascaris awarded Archimandrite Savawith "Law of the declaration of independence of the Serbian church, ordain him on Palm Sunday 1219 year for the first Serbian archbishop. Žiča monastery became the seat of Serbian Archbishopric.

In the third decade of the thirteenth century the church was re-mortared and colored in red. Believing that the church is based on the blood of the martyrs, St. Sava ask the master to paint the Church of the Ascension of Christ in red.
By charters of Serbian kings Žiča monastery was given over 57 villages, 8 mountains, and 217 families. Thanks to King Stefan the First Crowned, Žiča had one of the richest treasure in which they are found cassock and girdle of the Holy Virgin, part of the Holy Cross, the right hand and part of the head of St. John the Baptist, the holy relics of the apostles and martyrs, icons, golden vessels and vestments.
In the last decades of the thirteenth century Žiča is desecrated and destroyed after the ravages of the Tatar invasion. During Ottoman rule the monastery was often the target of attacks. Over 150 years the church was without a roof. The greatest suffering Žiča experienced during World War II when the German occupying forces bombed the monastery.