Serbia – Raska region, Church of St. Peter and Paul, Peter’s Church (February 2016) Today is the great Christian holiday of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, better known as St. Peter’s Day. One of the oldest churches in Serbia that is still used today is actually Peter’s Church in Novi Pazar.
The church has the base of a rotunda (circular church) in the shape of an inscribed four-leaf clover, while the frescoes in the church were painted several times in the 10th, 12th and 13th centuries. The church has one dome which is octagonal and decorated with blind arcades. During the last large works, 114 m2 of frescoes from four periods have been recorded in the church. During the reign of the great zupan Stefan Nemanja, a big renovation of this temple was carried out, and most of the preserved frescoes originate from this period.
Stefan Nemanja was baptized again in this church, but according to the Orthodox rite, otherwise the first baptism was performed in Ribnica (today Montenegro). This church was often the site of great councils. The church survived the arrival of the Turks in the middle of the 15th century and was an important center of gathering of the people until it was first destroyed at the end of the 17th century during the first migration of Serbs. The church is surrounded by an Orthodox cemetery, some of which date from the 12th and 13th centuries, but there are also those from the later periods of the 16th and 19th centuries. A tour of the Valley of the Ages and Peter’s Church, as well as other shrines in the Raska area, represents a return to the roots in a spiritual and historical sense.