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Saturday, 24 February 2018

Holy Archangels Monastery

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monastery-holy-archangelsHoly Archangels Monastery was founded by the Serbian emperor Dusan Mighty (king 1331-1346, emperor 1346-1355). It is located in the canyon of the Bistrica River near the town of Prizren, in Metohija, and belongs to the Raska-Prizren Eparchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Monastery was built from 1343 to the 1352 on the site of the old church, as a part of the fortress of Visegrad and as a tomb of Emperor Dusan church. It is believed that it was the culmination of Serbian religious architecture that is crucial impact on the establishment and development of Morava style. Within the complex, which covers an area of approximately 6.500m², there are two churches dedicated to the Holy Archangels (who was Dušans tomb church) and St. Nicholas, which were built in the Raska style. It is believed that the construction of the monastery and church of the grave, together with supporting facilities and protective walls were, finished 1352, and that it hosted at least 200 monks.
The monastery was, after the arrival of the Ottomans 1455 looted and demolished, and by 1615 it was destroyed to the ground, and its material is used for the construction of Sinan Pasha Mosque in Prizren.

Complex was investigated archaeologically on 1927, its remains were preserved after the Second World War, and during the nineties of the twentieth century reconstruction was continued. In the 1998 it again becomes active male monastery. After completion of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and the withdrawal of Yugoslav security forces, after the arrival of KFOR, restored objects were burned and looted by the members of the KLA, , in June 1999. That was repeated during the March riots 2004. The whole complex of the monastery is under the protection of the Republic of Serbia as a cultural monument of great importance and there still lives eight-member monastery brotherhood which is under the direct protection of the German KFOR.
During the archeological exploration of the monastery complex, the oldest founding there, were dated to Eneolithic period, while it is certain that in this region, there was a settlement in the younger Iron Age. Dusan's grandfather, King Milutin (1282-1321), built a small fortress of Visegrad , together with church dedicated to Saint Nicholas, and gave it to the Bishop of Prizren as a refuge in case of war. Later, Dusan gave three villages to the Prizren Bishop, in the replacement of the Visegrad fortress, which was then donated to the monastery, connected it with the walls into a whole.