Studenica Monastery, the heart of Serbian Orthodoxy

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

Studenica is placed in a beautiful mountainous scenery on the national road that links Raska (Rashka) (and further to the south, Novi Pazar) to Ivanjca (Ivanitza). The place is populated with some scarce villages, is very green, clean and has in itself a religious calm. It was here that the legendary Stefan Namanja gave up his throne for monastic vows and founded the monastery in 1190.
One of his sons became the first king of Serbia, Stefan Nemanic, while another son became even more famous as the patron saint of Serbia, St Sava. Quite different than the imposing St Sava cathedral in Belgrade, the church of Studenica Monastery is rather a humble one, although it holds the title of the largest and most important Serbian monastery. It is built in a fusion style between the Athonite Byzantine style and Romanesque architecture. Serbians proclaimed this style the Rashka school: with round domes, barrel vaults, semi-circular east ends, thick walls of moderate heights.
The Byzantine frescoes on the walls of the church are an important asset of this monument included on the heritage list of UNESCO. There are actually two churches in the complex, one known as the Virgin’s Church, and another known as King’s church, after his founder, King Milutin. The circular wall of monastic cells and the monumental gate also create a valuable architectural complex. Just outside of these walls there is a hotel with wooden facade, which respects the architecture of the place. Another hotel is just across the road. Both have affordable rooms with prices of only 8 euro per person.

Mai multe despre: Religious architecture, Serbia
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