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Saint Sava temple tour

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2 hours

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

12 people




  • The Church of Saint Sava is located on the hill above Slavija Square and is the most imposing Orthodox church in the Balkans. The church was built after Hagia Sophia, the most important place of worship of the Byzantine Empire. According to legend, on the site of today's temple (Vračar hill), Sinan Pasha burned the remains of the greatest Serbian saint and educator in the 16th century in order to take revenge for the attempted uprising against Turkish rule by the Serbs from Banat. With that act, the Turkish Pasha not only did not frighten the Serbs, but he also started the Serbian people's desire for freedom even more. After the liberation from the Turks (19th century), the Serbs had a strong desire to build a magnificent temple in the capital, which would be the spiritual center of the gathering of the Serbian people. It's finally 2020. the temple was consecrated and officially opened for worship and visiting. During the tour, we will hear stories about the history of the construction of the temple, whose fate is connected with the turbulent history of the city itself and the Serbian people.


Tour description

We start the tour from the plateau in front of the Saint Sava temple (or in front of your hotel, by agreement) at 12. First, we will hear a short story about the greatest and most important Serbian saint and enlightener, as well as the very history of the construction of the temple. On the plateau in front of the temple there is a monument to Saint Sava as well as to the progenitor of the Karađorđević royal dynasty, leader Karađorđe, the building of the National Library of Serbia and the parish house.

The central entrance to the temple is adorned by a massive bronze door on which basic Christian prayers are written in 24 different languages. That act showed a Christian virtue and openness to accepting all people regardless of their differences. It is a virtue that adorned St. Sava and the values he taught his people. By writing those prayers on the front door of the temple, they wanted to show a welcome to all peoples of goodwill.

After visiting the plateau, we enter the interior of the temple, where we will first visit the crypt, which represents the church below the church, and is located 8 meters underground and is unique in the world in terms of the number of painted scenes from the Bible and Serbian history. The church is dedicated to the Holy Great Martyr Prince Lazar, and its frescoes depict details from his life and suffering. The tomb of the last Serbian patriarch, Irinej, is also located in the crypt itself.

After leaving the crypt, we tour the interior of the church, which has a capacity of about 10,000 people. The dimensions of the temple are impressive, which makes it the fifth largest Orthodox temple in the world, and the first in the Balkans. The length of the temple from east to west is 91 m, while the north-south direction is long 81 m. The height from the floor to the interior of the dome is 65m, and the height of the salt dome with the cross is 79m. The iconostasis is 22 m wide, and its total weight is 100 tons. It is interesting that the stone from which the iconostasis was made is the same stone used by Michelangelo for the David sculpture.

What makes this sanctuary special is the interior mosaic that decorates the entire church. All the material is made of natural colors and glass, and a special baking technique at high temperatures gives the ideal shade that is needed for the mosaic itself and the future icon. As many as 53 shades of blue were used in the making of the mosaic, which symbolizes heavenly eternity, and the golden background and base represent Divine light and the Kingdom of Heaven. Among the numerous icons and images of the Lord, there is also the mosaic of Old Man Dana, which is a very rare type of iconography and represents the Lord Jesus Christ, the second face of St. Three as a gray-haired old man.

Another gem and pearl of this temple is the marble floor. On the floor of 5,000 square meters, there is marble from all over the world. His journey to Serbia is 80,000 km long. Yellow marble from India, green from the Urals, red from Africa, bardillo from Italy, gray from Brazil and Iran were bought at the largest stock market in Verona, from where they were shipped to China for processing, then back to the port of Piraeus in Greece and Rijeka in Croatia. from where it was transported by large tow trucks to Vračar in Belgrade. These are just some of the details you will hear on this tour, and the visit to the temple itself with adequate stories will make this tour and experience complete and special.

Important notes


0 – 3 hours

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