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Saturday, 24 February 2018

Monastery Banjska

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monastery-banjskaBanjska is a monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church, located at Zvečan in northern Kosovo and Metohija. Monastery

Banjska, with a church dedicated to St. Stephen, was built between the 1313 and 1317, as a legacy of Serbian King Stefan Uros II Milutin, one of the most powerful rulers of the Nemanjić dynasty, and one of the most powerful rulers of his time in the Balkans.

Milutin devoted Banjska as the church where he is to be buried. However, after the Battle of Kosovo 1389, his body was transferred to the Trepča, and then, 1460, in the Bulgarian city of Sofia, where it is now.

The monastery has followed the fate of the body of its patron. The monumental building of the church, a dining room, library, residential quarters and the Imperial Palace, Banjska began to deteriorate very early: in the early 15th century fire swallowed the library, and in the second half of the same century, the monastery was probably abandoned. Kuripešić , traveler-writer noted that by order of Sultan monastery was destroyed in the 16th century, because Christian fugitives from Turkish slavery gathered there.

Almost completely destroyed, the church of St. Stephen was renovated and converted into a mosque in the 19th century and, as such, it served to World War II. The church was first conserved in 1939, and the second time in 1990, when a partial reconstruction was made.

Monastery Banjska is one of the few monasteries with preserved its founding Charter. From it is seen that during the establishment of the monastery, it gained 75 villages and 8 livestock areas(katuni), with farms, mills and apiaries, as a property

The main pride of Banjska was famous "Banjska gold, lauded in folk song and described in travels of that time. It consisted of thin gold leaves which plated background of the frescoes. Today, remaining of the frescoes are preserved only a few faded fragments.

Banjska monastery spent 520 years in ruins. Reconstruction was resumed on 2004, when Bishop Artemije appointed Abbot Simeon who brought few young monks. Immediately after the foundation, the monastery became the spiritual center of the Serbs in Kosovo. Restoration of the church and the wider monastic complex began on 2006. Bishop Artemije plans are to return the relics of King Milutin after the restoration. Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in December 2006, announced that they agree.