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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Monastery Gracanica

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monastery-gracanicaMonastery Gračanica dedicated to St. Mother of God in southern Serbia, on the left bank of the river Gračanka, south of Pristina in Kosovo and Metohija, is legacy of King Milutin, his wife Simonida and son Stephen. It was built on 1321 in place of the old church where it was chair of Lipljan diocese.
During XIV and XV century was a period of great spiritual glory of the monastery. Gracanica had hundreds of monks who were very agile in spiritual and artistic activity.

In the second quarter of the XVI century it was the center of Novo Brdo Mitropolit, who brought first printing machine to the monastery. Later, due to the large Turkish crimes, the monastery was abandoned and the church was used for parish needs. After the Second World War, the monastery was restored by nuns and since then it serves as a women's monastery. Today there lives 20 nuns dealing with iconography, service, agriculture and other monastic obedience. This monastery is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site along with three other Serbian Orthodox Church monasteries called "Medieval Monuments in Kosovo and Metohija."

After the war in Kosovo and Metohija 1999, to the monastery of Gracanica was transferred the seat of the Bishop of Raska and Prizren, who had to leave Prizren. The monastery has become not only spiritually, but also national and political center of the Serbian people of this region.
Gracanica is one of the most ancient monuments of Serbian culture. The church is made of hewn stone passed in double rows and rows of triple bricks and has five domes and three apses. It is built in the aesthetic, constructional and architectural excellence and it has harmonious proportions.
Gracanica monastery church is a building with five domes with base of inscribed cross, and as such belongs to the first-class architectural achievements of its time. Outer narthex was built in the late XIV century, during the rule of St. Prince Lazar.