Serbia – Belgrade, Rakovica Monastery (July 2020) Only 10 km south of the center of Belgrade, hidden between the hills, is the Rakovica Monastery. Today’s monastery of Rakovica is first mentioned in written sources in the 16th century, at this location where it was moved most probably for security reasons. In the central part of the complex, there is a church dedicated to the archangels Michael and Gabriel.
This church was probably built in the period from the middle of the 16th to the end of the 17th century. The church is a single-nave building in the shape of an inscribed cross with strong influences of the Moravian school. Two domes can be seen on the church, the larger of which is above the nave and the smaller above the narthex. The new iconostasis was erected in the middle of the 19th century, and was built with a money donated by Mihailo Obrenović.
For centuries, the monastery has been an important hiding place for Belgrade’s relics and archives and other valuables. Numerous prominent Serbs were buried in the monastery, including Miloš Obrenović’s son Todor, one of the leaders of the First Serbian Uprising, Vasa Ćarapić (called the Dragon of Avala), as well as two patriarchs. Patriarch Dimitrije was buried in 1930. and Patriarch Pavle, who is much closer to us, was built in the yard next to him in 2009.
In addition to the numerous wise words of our patriarch Paul, which he left us not to get lost, it is written on the grave “let us never be inhuman people”. Due to its centuries-old significance, but also because of the tomb of Patriarch Pavle, the Rakovica Monastery has become a place of pilgrimage visited by many Serbs.