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15. MLECANE, CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS - The village as the collective founder built this shrine with narthex and one-nave semi-circularly vaulted naos around 1600. Naos is separated from the altar space by a pair of pilasters linked by a semi-circular arch between which there was the iconostasis partition. Although the apse is constructed as a deep niche, its outer shape is semi-circular as usual, while the niches of prothesis and diakonikon are constructed within the width of the wall. There are no windows on the northern wall and the windows on the southern and eastern walls are high and narrow from the outside. The simple wall surface of trimmed stone is decorated only by a spacious niche on the southern facade of the narthex. Fragments of wall paintings dating back to 1601/1602 are preserved mainly in the zone of standing figures. Detailed presentation of the Last Judgment on the western wall of narthex stretches partially to the longer walls. Bright colours, sure drawing and inclination towards decorativeness are most prominent on the horse presentations of St. George and St. Demetrios in narthex and the basic characteristics of painters who decorated the temple. After being in ruins for a long time, conservation and restoration works were carried out in 1968 and the church assumed its original shape.

16. GORIOC MONASTERY - The Gorioc Monastery (Gorioca, Ogorioc), metochion of the Decani Monastery with the Church of St. Nicholas, dormitories of the monks and belfry, is located on Bela Stena (White Stone) above the little town of Istok. According to the folk tradition, it was built by King Stephen Decanski who devoted it to St. Nicholas as a sign of gratitude for healing his "burned" eyes on that place. However, since the same tradition is linked to a number of other toponymys it is not possible to establish for sure which place was really the endowment of the healed King. The old church of St. Nicholas at Gorioc, most probably from the 14th century, is not preserved. It was renewed in the 16th and 18th centuries and at the beginning of the 20th century. The church of St. Nicholas is a modest one-nave semi-ovally vaulted building without wall paintings. It keeps 11 icons painted during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The Monastery used to keep a rich collection of Serbian medieval books, including several Serbian manuscripts from the 14th and 15th centuries which the Russian Consul and historian A. Gilferding took from the Monastery. Today, they are kept in the Public Library in Petrograd. During World War Two, the Monastery was used by Albanian fascists as a prison for mass arrests of Serbs and Montenegrins. In the churchyard, dormitories of the monks, belfry and the fountain were restored.

17. GORAZDEVAC, ST. JEREMIAH CHURCH-LOG CABIN - The church-log cabin of St. Jeremiah, near Pec, is the oldest church of that kind in Serbia. It was dated back, on the basis of the imperial gates, to the end of the 16th century or the beginning of the 17th century. According to the folk tradition, it was built by Srbljaci, the oldest tribe in that area. Since this was the name for the inhabitants in the upper course of the Lim river who were expelled from their homes and settled in Metohija in 1737/1738, this church might have been built at the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth decade of the 18th century at the earliest. The church has modest dimensions, with shallow foundations and very simple architecture. It has the rectangular basis, with two-sided apse as the result of cutting two acute sides. The roof is low and covered with heavy stone blocks. The interior is divided into narthex, main church and the altar area. Partitions are built in the walls in the same manner in which the whole church is built. The floor is made of irregular stone blocks, while the ceiling is flat and made of boards. Attention is drawn by two small openings in the boards in the shape of equally-sided cross and double six-leaf rosette. Movable property mentioned in the literature is no longer in the church. By the time when it was built this is the oldest church and by its location the only one church-log cabin outside today's main area. Detailed restoration and conservation works were carried out in 1968.

18. LODJANE, DANILOVICS' LOG CABIN - In the vicinity of Decani, in the centre of the village of Locane, there is a log cabin built most probably in the first decade of the 18th century. Its age can be determined on the basis of the folk tradition which says that the first fire in the Decani Monastery was brought from the fireplace of this cabin. It is built on the flat terrain, it has the rectangular foundation and a porch, four-guttered roof covered with tiles. It was built in phases, enlarged by a room and a store room to the original one-space log cabin intended for the residence of people and the accommodation of livestock. By its enlargements, it was converted from the archaic plain cabin to a peasant's house. By reminding, originally, of the biblical concept of residence and, after its conversion, of the process of transforming rayah into peasants, Danilovics' log cabin, as the oldest preserved cabin in Serbia, represents the testimony to the social and historical events and the position of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija endangered by the violence of foreign, heterodox and aggressive Albanian settlers, which also found reflection in the said folk tradition as the confirmation of its age, i.e. the long-standing existence of Serbs in this territory and their rights to it. The log cabin is still functioning today. Despite its exceptional value, no conservation works were carried out.

19. PEC, BAJRAKLI MOSQUE - It is located in the town centre. The precise time of its construction is not known, but it is supposed that it was built already in the first decades of the Turkish occupation, i.e. in the second half of the 15th century. It is called the main mosque in the town since by flying its banner on the minaret it determines the time when other mosques should begin their prayers. It is a monumental edifice with octangular dome, 11.65 m in diameter, leaning on pandantiphs above the central area. The top of calotte is high 13.5 m from the floor. A high open porch with three cupolas leaning on lateral walls and four columns linked by arches is in front of the entrance to the central area. The high and slender polygonal minaret is leaning on the main dome. The high mihvil (gallery), elevated above the entrance, is leaning on the columns with capitals and is stretching along the entire wall. Its fence is richly decorated by ornamental carvings, while the supporting arches are painted with floral ornaments. Mihrab (central preaching niche) is marked by a shallow niche, while mimbar (pulpit), in the southern-eastern part of the mosque, is built of marble and has monumental dimensions. Especially interesting is the fountain with carved floral medallion and the symbols of Moon and stars as well as the tablets with Arabic inscriptions. The cemetery also has interesting carved sights. Of particular importance is the sarcophagus of Hajri-beg Miralaj with the relief of heraldic meaning, floral ornaments and the representation of weapons and object-symbols.




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The Sara - Drim River Valley (Podrima) region encompasses the northern slopes of Mt. Sara, Mt. Jezerska and the southernmost part of the Metohija valley and coincides with the northern section of the Sara National Park. In its territory there are a large number of monuments of exceptional value, concentrated primarily in Prizren (a fortress, construction of which first started in the 11th century; the churches of the Mother of God Ljeviska, St. Nicholas, St. Saviour and the Monastery of the Holy Archangels; the Sinan Pasha mosque and Turkish bath (hamam) from the 17th century), in the territory of two medieval districts established as early as in the 13/14th century - the districts of Sirinic and Sredska - with churches from the 16th and 17th centuries, churches, monasteries, hermit cells and castles from the time of the Serbian medieval state during the rule of the Nemanjic dynasty (Velika Hoca, Musutiste, Recani, Korisa, Nerodimlje), as well as a number of archaeological localities from the Early Iron Age to the Middle Ages, numerous examples of lay and sacral architecture from the 14th to 20th centuries, as well as an older facility of technical culture in Serbia, the Prizrenka hydroelectric power plant. The construction of the majority of the mentioned monuments of culture chronologically coincided with the period of rule of the Nemanjic dynasty over the independent Serbian state and they were built mainly as foundations of members of the ruling class or nobility, representing outstanding architectural and painting achievements of late Byzantine art. The concentration of a large number of monuments from prehistoric times to the 20th century in the territory of the Sara-Podrima district attests to the historic continuity of life in this region, which flourished between the 13th and 14th centuries when its largest urban centre (Prizren) was established along with several very important ecclesiastical-monastic centres and hermitages (Korisa, Velika Hoca, Musutiste, District of Sredska and District of Sirinic).



The Sara-Podrima region is a unique cultural and natural monumental complex reflecting historic and artistic trends at the time of the greatest rise of the Serbian medieval state and belongs to the territory which represented its core. Intensive urban and religious life in this area was sustained even during the period of Turkish domination in the Balkans and continues to this day, enriched by a series of lay and sacral architectural achievements demonstrating the impact of turbulent historic developments of the past two centuries.

1. PRIZREN, KALJAJA FORTRESS - The fortified town of Kaljaja is located above the present-day Prizren, on the hill of great strategic importance. The ramparts of the fortress are parallel with the edge of hill - the foundation has the shape of irregular ellipse, 190 m x 150 m. The main entrance to the fortress, divided into the Upper and Lower Town, was on the western rampart. The Upper Town encompassed the elevated area in the southern-eastern part of the fortress and was protected by separate ramparts stretching to the west and north. The Upper Town was entered through the gate in the western part of the internal rampart. Since it was used for centuries, the fortress changed its masters several times who pulled it down, repaired and enlarged it. Archeological excavations indicate two main periods of construction (medieval and Turkish), each having several phases of development. The medieval period consists of three phases: Byzantine Prizdrijana from the 11th century, the period of the 12th and 13th centuries and the objects built at the time of the rule of Emperor Dusan (southern tower, internal rampart, part of the eastern rampart to the underground passage and lower parts of the western rampart). The Turkish period consists of five phases and most objects belong to the second one dating back to the 17th century. These are: southern town, vaulted corridor built next to the southern rampart of the Upper Town, upper parts of the western rampart of the Lower Town with the main gate, eastern rampart with semi-circular tower and the underground passage leading to the Bistrica river.

2. PRIZREN, VIRGIN LJEVISKA - The Prizren cathedral dedicated to Virgin Mary was built by King Milutin in 1306/1307 on the remains of a church from the 13th century which had been built on the foundation of a basilica from the middle Byzantine period (9th-11th century) built on the foundation of an early Christian shrine. Mason Nicholas, who most probably came from Epirus, managed to build an architecturally very successful edifice whose centre is the five-dome church with the developed cross-in-square, surrounded by the lateral nave and narthex with open porch (today, its passages are walled up) and with a tower on the western side. Turks converted it into mosque and, in order to adjust it to their needs, chiselled the frescoes and repainted them. Very damaged paintings are of exceptional value and fall within the most successful fresco wholes from the time of the Byzantine dynasty of the Palaeologus. They were painted by the main painter Astrapa from Salonica together with his associates around 1310-1313 who, judging by modest remains of paintings, made an exceptionally original choice of compositions and individual figures and their iconographic solutions both in details and as a whole. Of particular importance are the portraits of founders and the procession of Nemanjics, ancestors of King Milutin, who are of supernatural size. Conservation and restoration architectural works were carried out in the 1950s, while the paintings were discovered under the layers of lime in 1950-1952 to be subsequently cleaned and retouched several times in the 1969-1979 period.

3. PRIZREN, CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS - The small church of landlord Dragoslav Tutic (Nicholas as monk) and his wife Bela is located in the centre of the present-day Prizren. According to the stone inscription, preserved only in fragments but of known contents on the basis of the transcript from the 19th century, it was built in 1331/1332 and most probably painted immediately after that. Subsequently, it became a metochion of the Decani Monastery. The one-nave church is of small dimensions, surpassed by the dome of octangular tambour with windows. A semi-circular apse with two semi-circular niches for prothesis and diakonikon is on the eastern side. It was built simply with stone and brick. Not many paintings are preserved. According to the subjects, arrangement and style, fresco paintings are related to those from the first phase of the church of St. Savior and in the church of St. George at Recani, so that it is considered that one workshop painted all three shrines. The same painters are considered to have painted two icons - Virgin Hodegetria from the iconostasis of the Virgin Ljeviska (in Cathedral church in Prizren) and the dual Ljubizda icon with the Annunciation and the Meeting between Ioakim and Anne (in the National Museum in Belgrade). Conservation and restoration works on architecture and paintings were carried out in the period between 1967 and 1970 when the entire dome underwent restoration.

4. PRIZREN, CHURCH OF ST. SAVIOR - The endowment of landlord Mladen Vladojevic with his parents, at the time of Dusan's rule, was built around 1330 and in 1348 given as a gift to the nearby monastery of Holy Archangels. The Vlach community in Prizren, which had the right to use this little church from the second half of the 18th century, built, in 1836, high walls of a future shrine which was never completed and the church of St. Savior thus became only a part of its northern nave. The medieval church is of small dimensions, with the foundation in the shape of the shortened cross-in-square with octangular dome and the apse three-sided from outside. It was decoratively built with neat alternate layers of limestone and brick and with ceramoplastic ornaments. The paintings were painted in two phases: firstly in the altar around 1335 and the paintings are of poorer quality and then in the rest of the church until 1348 when a part of the altar area was repainted. The original paintings on the altar were painted by one painter, a member of the workshop which also painted the church of St. Nicholas, endowment of Dragoslav Tutic. Small dimensioned frescoes from the second phase were painted by local painters educated by the good traditions of the Byzantine art who had a sure and prominent drawing. A third painter painted Christ and the Virgin Paraklisa in narthex most probably after 1348. The paintings were greatly damaged and a fire in the 19th century changed their palette. Conservation works on architecture and frescoes were carried out in the 1953-1963 period.

5. PRIZREN, HOLY ARCHANGELS' MONASTERY - In the canyon of the Bistrica river, 3 km south-east of Prizren, there is the monastery with the church of Holy Archangels which is the endowment and mausoleum of the most powerful Serbian medieval ruler, king and - from 1346 - emperor Dusan. The representative monastery complex is surrounded from two sides by the river banks and from the third side by the steep hill with the fortified town Visegrad. It consisted of the monumental church in the center, with the emperor's tomb, a refectory and the small church of St. Nicholas. Beside these buildings that are freely disposed in the churchyard, there was a number of quarters of different purposes leaned on rampart walls, such as dormitories of the monks, library, hospital. The monastery was built on the ancient multi-layer site. It was mostly completed between 1343 and 1352, under the supervision of the prior Jacob, who was later the bishop in Serres. Catholikon with the foundation in the shape of the cross-in-square was extremely luxuriously built and plated with marble; it was decorated with sculpture which was the extension of the tradition of the so-called Raska style, wall paintings of high quality on the golden background and the mosaic floor with floral or zoomorphic motives. Although the upper part of the church cannot be completely reconstructed - even the number of the domes (one or five) is unknown - it is possible to recognize some of the features of the new, so-called Morava architecture model that was developed several decades later. The refectory represents an outstanding example by its cross-shaped foundation. From the mid-15th century, whith the arrival of Turks, the destruction of the monastery began. In the 17th century the demolition was accelerated for the reason that the building material was used for the construction of the Sinan Pasha's mosque in Prizren. Rich sculpted and fresco program and - in Serbian architecture - unique mosaic floor are only fragmentary preserved. Between two World Wars certain archeological excavations were carried out; the monastery, that had been ruined for centuries and now reduced to an archeological site, today has an appearance which is the result of the archeological and conservation works that were carried out in the 1960s. The restoration both of the monastery and the monastic life began in 1990s with the partial archeological excavations as well as with the construction of the new residential quarter on the former foundations, east of the catholikon's altar apse.

6. PRIZREN, SINAN PASHA'S MOSQUE - It was built in 1615, i.e. in 1026 according to the Hegira Islamic system of measuring time. In the interior on the wall there is an inscription "Jennet - misali" - Paradisiacal. It was built using the material from the previously torn down monastery of the Holy Archangels near Prizren. The diameter of the cupola is about 14.5 meters. According to its architecture, it belongs to the so-called classical style of Osmanli art, although it is a rather rare example in terms of its spatial concept. The ground plan consists of two areas: the main prayer area and the area containing the mihrab (central preaching niche). It was built of neatly dressed stone blocks. The mosque has a tall and slender polygonal minaret. The porch was torn down in the past so that its present-day appearance does not correspond to the original one. The interior features a sculpted gallery (mahvil). Ornamental decorations were painted on the internal walls on several occasions of which the oldest layer in the cupola calotte were painted in 1628.