Serbia – Kosovo and Metohija, Gracanica Monastery (April 2013) Gracanica Monastery is located 10 km from Pristina on the left bank of the river Gracanka. The monastery is a pearl of Serbian medieval art. These areas were inhabited during the Neolithic, as evidenced by the number of settlements of the Starčevo and Vinča cultures. During the Iron Age, this area was inhabited by Paleo-Balkan tribes that were defeated by the Romans and founded the city of Ulpiana not far from Pristina.
The church of the Gracanica monastery was built by the Serbian King Milutin in 1321. and dedicated it to the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God. The monastery was an important spiritual center and was located in the center of the powerful Milutin state. During the 16th century, the first printing house was brought to the monastery, so the monastery was also an important educational center. The church has the base of an inscribed cross with three apses and five domes. It is built of hewn stone, which in some places is combined with brick. The outer narthex was built later during the reign of Prince Lazar at the end of the 14th century.The church was painted by Michael and Eutychius by famous masters from Thessaloniki. The performances of the heavenly liturgy, the prophet, but also Christ the Pantocrator, represent a true masterpiece.
The genealogy of the Nemanjić dynasty, the representation of King Milutin and his wife Simonida, also occupies an exceptional place among the frescoes. The monastery treasury was destroyed at the end of the 14th century, but numerous relics created in later periods have been preserved to this day. Gracanica has always occupied an exceptional spiritual place in the collective consciousness of the Serbian people, and in 2006. it is inscribed on the list of cultural world heritage – UNESCO. A tour of the monastery gives you the opportunity to go back to the time of King Milutin when the top masters built this magnificent temple. In addition to the church, you will also have the opportunity to be hosted by Serbs who live in unenviable conditions in the enclave around the monastery.