King's Church

".....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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The age of King Milutin, 14th century

Serbian King Stefan Uros II Milutin (1282-1321) raised a new church, dedicated to SS Joachim and Anne, latter to be generally known as the kings church. The year of construction was September 1313 - August 1314
The entire reportoire of the old Byzantine architecture, revived by the artistic movement and the end of the 13th century, fund its way into the mainstream of Serbian architecture.
In the Byzantine fashion, the interior was notable for its painted walls and costly details.
The Propeth Isaiah, fresco, 1313/1314, drum of the dome of the King's church.

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Ezekiel and Isaiah are on the east side, their scrolls recalling the first vespers and matins by which the faithful are prepared for the feast of Eastern Saturday, the day whose services explain Christ's sacrifice and resurrection.

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The Propher Ezekiel, fresco, 1313/14, drum of the dome of the King's church


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The Evangelist Luke, fresco, 1313/14, north-west pendentive of the King's church

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St Cyril of Alexandria, part of the fresco of Officiating Bishops, 1313/14, altar area of the King's church
The Serbian People began to formulate their spiritual identity during the are of the Holy Brothers Cytil and Methodius (9th century), and their 5 disciples who followed (10th century). They are considered the first baptizes and enlighteners of the Serbs, as well as the other Slavs.

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St Clement of Ohrid, fresco, 1313/14, south window of the King's church
The fruit of their work, harvested for some 2 centuries from Byzantium/Bulgaria to the Adriatic, included the gradual Christianization of the Serbs both nationally and individually, the appearance of the first ascetics and saints among the Serbs, and the first monuments of Serbia's spiritual and secular cultures.

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St John Chrysostom, part of the fresco of Officiating Bishops, 1313/14, altar area of the King's church
The preference for spiritual values became an inseparable part of the Serbian national soul, as well as its lifeblood in the early stages of its history.

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St Gregory of Nyssa, part of the fresco of Officiating Bishops, 1313/14, altar area of the King's church

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St John the Apostle, detail of the Apostle's Communion, fresco, 1313/14, apse of the King's church

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Chist's Nativity, fresco, 1313/14, south wall of the nave, King's church
In Christ's Nativity fresco, King Milutin's painters reveal their preoccupation with lyrical liturgical poetry and learned metaphor. They conveyed the anxiety of the Virgin over the fate of her son, whose end she foresees; she holds him tenderly, resting her cheek against the child's head. This is not a realistic scene taken from life, but was inspired by the sticheron (hymn) sung in the liturgy for December 28 (according to the Serbian and Greek menaia).These verses interpret Christ's birth as a precondition for his sacrifice; his humility and smallness is contrasted with his role as king of heaven, and his deliberate acceptance of the form of Adam is shown as an aspect of the sacrifice which brings salvation.

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Adam and the Righterous, detail of the Harrowing of Hell, fresco, 1313/14, north wall of the nave, King's church
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St. Theodore the Studite, painted beside the Dormition as the writer of a homily devoted to this feast, fresco, 1313/14, north west pilaster of the nave, King's church


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