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Ravanica Monastery

Endowment of Knez Lazar

Ravanica monastery church

was built between 1375 and 1377. It is dedicated to the Ascension and has a base in the shape of a developed trikonhos and five domes. The central dome, ten-sided on the outside, rests on four half-columns. Small, eight-sided domes in the corners of the arms of the cross are placed on raised square bases. It was built with alternating rows of stone and three to four rows of mortar and bricks. The facade has two cordon (belt) cornices and two rows of windows.

The surfaces below the archivolts of the dome's cube bases are decorated with checkerboards. The original narthex, which was added after the church was built, was demolished, and the present narthex was built by the daskal (teacher) Stefan in 1721. The monastery was surrounded by a strong wall that was reinforced with towers, of which only ruins remain today.

When we talk about Živopis painting, the first independent style of Serbian painting of the Middle Ages appears here. The painting was completed in 1387. On the foundation composition, north of the entrance to the nave, Knez Lazar and Kneginja Milica with their sons, Stefan and Vuk, are represented with a model of the church. Frescoes were made by several painters. It seems there were three of them. Characteristic of the painting is that the saints are extremely decorated. For example, the holy warriors, who are in the lowest zone, are even excessively decorated, and in their colorful suits and ornamented armor, they resemble knights from folk songs. This style of painting is called the decorative style, and it is a feature of the new Pomoravlja style.

After Knez Lazar was killed, Ravanica became the target of Turkish, destructive attacks, so it was burned down for the first time at the end of the fourteenth century. Ravanica experienced its first major renovation in the eighteenth century, and the second in the middle of the twentieth.

Shortly after his death in Kosovo, Prince Lazar was declared a saint and his relics were transferred to the monastery in 1392. The relics of Knez Lazar lay in Ravanica until 1690, when the monks, fleeing from the invasion of the enemy army, fled to Hungary, taking the relics with them. Only in 1989 were his relics returned to Ravanica.

In 1946, Mother Superior Jefimija took over the management of the Ravanica monastery with 25 nuns. On that occasion, after 6 centuries, Ravanica became a women's monastery for the first time.

The Ravanica monastery can be reached today by an asphalt road from Ćuprija (12 km), that is, after separating from the Belgrade-Nis highway (at the 149th kilometer from Belgrade, through the agricultural estate "Dobričeva" (9.5 km) and Senje (0.6 km).


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