Onwards to Studenica Monastery (Day 5)
We checked out from Niš to head towards the mountainous region of Zlatibor. En route, we stopped at the Studenica Monastery. Studenica Monastery, located in the Raška district of central Serbia, is the largest and richest of Serbia’s Orthodox monasteries. It was located near Studenica river, which is a tributary of the Ibar river. Studenica literally means cold water.
The monastery was founded in the late 12th century by Stefan Nemanja, also known as Saint Simeon, who established the medieval Serbian state. His remains, as well as those of his wife Anastasia and of the first Serbian king, Stephen the First-Crowned, rest in this monastery. It is there that Stefan Nemanja’s youngest son, Saint Sava Nemanjić, initiated the independent Serbian Orthodox Church in 1219 and wrote the first literary work in the Serbian language.
Its two principal monuments, the Church of the Virgin and the Church of the King, both built of white marble, enshrine priceless collections of 13th- and 14th-century Byzantine painting. All around are also the living quarters of monks. They are built in the Raška school of architecture The oldest frescoes within the monastery complex can be found in the Church of St. Nicholas, which date to the early twelfth century. However, the knowledge about their origin is lacking. The guide at the church said that there is also a record of an Indian saint who had reached the monastery at a point in time. As Indians, this was of interest to us, definitely!
The owner of the property is the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the owner of most of the area included in the buffer zone is the Republic of Serbia. Maintenance of the property is funded by the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Republic of Serbia, and the Municipality of the nearby town of Kraljevo. The entire area is well maintained. Clearly the Serbians take pride in preserving their heritage and structures.
Studenica was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia, and in 1986 UNESCO included Studenica monastery on the list of World Heritage Sites. If you want to read more about the monastery, here is a good resource https://www.panacomp.net/studenica-monastery/
The surroundings are simply breathtaking with mountains and tall fir trees surrounding it. We decided to have lunch at a small café where the local farmers were enjoying their glass of beer and something to eat. An underlying feature of the trip in Serbia, was that everywhere we went, we seemed to find and attract pups and dogs, and Studenica was no exception!
After lunch, we were on the way to Zlatibor. More on that in my next! #Subscribe #Share #Like
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