".....have  no  castles   from  our  past,  but  churches  and  monasteries   have  been  sown  all  over. 
The  churches  and monasteries  were  like  personal  homes   to  everyone - rulers  and  shepherds, 
literate  and  illiterates,  heroes and commoners...."


King's Church
Under Infidel Rule


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gratitude to all of you, our unnamed friends, who have helped us creating this web pages.



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This web page on the Serbian monastery of Studenica is the description of its history,
architecture, sculptural ornamentation, wall painting, icons, manuscripts and works
of applied art. Studenica's cultural heritage throws light on the development of
painting and architecture in the Byzantine tradition from the early Middle Ages onward.


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Studenica has only partly retained its early appearance. The monastery had a number of buildings, laid out, as was customary, to form an enclosed complex consisting of the main and ancillary churches, the reflectory, living quarters and other buildings connected with the running of the monastery.

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The founding of the churches played an importnat role at both the beginning and end of the political career of Grand Prince (Veliki Zupan) Stefan Nemanja (1166-1196,d.1199).

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When Nemanja came upon this spot beside the little river Studenica, which was to give its name to the monastery dedicated to the Virgin Benefactress, it was un "uninhabited hunting ground of wild beasts".





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The construction of the church and other buildings must have lasted a considerable number of years, and we know that the fresco painting was not undertaken until after the founder's death.


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Stefan Nemanja's charter to Studenica has not been preserved, nor has any trace been found of the inscription, so that nothing is known to us of the endowments and gifts made at the time of the monastery's foundation.

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Simultaneously with the construction of the church, it would have been necessary to raise walls and towers for the protection of the monastic community. All this must have been completed in the main by the spring of 1196, when Nemanja himself came to live as a monk in his foundation.

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Tombstone of Dionisije, the first abbot, installed by Nemanja when he left Studenica for Athos (1197). Dionisije was still abbot when when Nemanja's remians were brought to Studenica.


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Those are mistaken who say that Kosovo stopped the wheel of our, Serbian, history and held us back. If it had not been for Kosovo, we would have been a
great nation today. It was Kosovo that made us a great nation. It is our Golghota; but it is at the same time our spiritual and moral resurrection.

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