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Monday, 23 October 2017

Monasteries of old Serbia

monasteries-old-serbia1

Day 1  Belgrade – Žiča – Ljubostinja - Studenica

Departure from Belgrade.

Journey through the picturesque area of Šumadija.

Visit to the monastery Žiča (13th century). The monastery is the legacy of Stevan Prvovenčani. Its exterior is painted in red according to the model of the monasteries in Palestine which are painted in that colour to keep the symbolism of blood of martyrs during the persecution of Christians. This monastery was the first seat of the Serbian Archbishopry, cultural and legislative body in Serbia in the thirteenth century. All Serbian medieval kings of sacred dynasty Nemanjić are crowned in Žiča.

Departure to the monastery Ljubostinja, which was built by a princess whose husband, was tragically killed in the Battle of Kosovo. Princess Milica wove her love into the beautiful monastery where she gathered the educated widows of the time who also lost their husbands after a great battle. One of them was a wife of Despot Uglješa, the nun Jefimija, who had woven a monument to the medieval monarch in gold - the praise of Prince Lazar.

Journey continues through the city of Kraljevo. Lunch at the boat restaurant at the Ibar river.

Drive through the Ibar river gorge, and arrival to the monastery Studenica (12th century). In the monastery, there are three churches: the Virgin, St. Nikola and the King's Church. The monastery was founded by Stefan Nemanja and King church was intended for his tomb. The wealth of frescoes and iconostasis and monumentality of the churches leaves no one indifferent. The Crucifixion fresco is one of the most beautiful frescoes of the entire Serbian medieval painting. The monastery is under the protection of UNESCO. Break for lunch (optional). Accommodation in the monastic refectory. Attending the evening service, a walk to the Hermitage of St. Sava. The impressiveness of this place is complemented by the holy spring located in a small cave in the rock. Dinner and overnight.

Day 2:  Studenica – Sopoćani – Mileševa

Breakfast. Attending the morning service if possible.

Visit to the monastery Djurdjevi stupovi above the town of Novi Pazar, one of the oldest Serbian monasteries. The monastery was built by Grand rector Stefan Nemanja in the first years after coming to the throne in the second half of the 12th century. The monastery is included in the world cultural heritage and protected by UNESCO. It has existed for over 830 years, it has been demolished for 300 years and under reconstruction for 40. Today, the monastery is largely rebuilt.

After the break, journey to the monastery Sopoćani (13th century), founded by King Uroš. The frescoes of this monastery are among the best achievements of Serbian medieval art and Byzantine painting. The most precious fresco is the Death of the Virgin, which covers the entire west wall of the church, and there are the many scenes from the lives of Christ and several Saints figures. As a treasury of Serbian medieval painting the monastery is under the protection of UNESCO.

Departure to the monastery Mileševa (13th century), founded by King Vladislav. It is a typical representative of the Raška school. Glory of Mileševa art was spread all over the world with the fresco Angel at the tomb of Christ, known as the White Angel, which attracts the attention of observers with its originality, richness of colour and authenticity. Other frescoes are partially preserved and their composition is very interesting. The first Serbian archbishop – St. Sava, was buried in this monastery. Accommodation in monastery lodgings. Attending the evening service. Dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Mileševa - Zlatibor – Belgrade

After breakfast, departure to Belgrade.

Break on Zlatibor Mountain. Tour of one of the monasteries in the gorge of the River Morava is possible on the way back. Today, there are ten monasteries, and one of the more approachable is the Monastery Jovanje in Ovčarsko-Kablarska gorge. They were probably built during the 14th century.

Arrival to Belgrade and departure to home country.

Price per person: on request