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Kolasin Culture

In compliance with its rich history Kolasin has preserved a range of extremely valuable monuments of material culture. This mute, but picturesque monuments, remind on past times, not just on turbulent days of the fight for freedom, but also on a fine cultural duration of the people of this area, and on the tradition, which is measured in centuries.

When one thinks on Kolasin and on its surrounding the first thought runs towards the monastery Moraca, in the valley of same named river. In 1252 Stefan, the grandson of the famous Stefan Nemanja, rose next to the river one of the most beautiful cultural monuments in this part of Balkan Peninsula. By its architectonic shape the main church of the monastery Moraca is listed in the group of most distinguished representatives of so-called Raska school, visually and architectonically it reminds on rulers’ legacies – monasteries Studenica, Zica, and Milesevo that are located in Serbia. Monastery port is made in grey marble; the elements of colorful stones and big stone sarcophagus with the body of the protector of the monastery attract the attention of the eye. Two winged doors at the entrance in the middle temple of the monastery are decorated with ebony of which some other elements, which you will find in the monastery, have been made of.

Monastery during its long history had a very important role in culturally – historical development of this area. The most significant activity n it was the scrivener one, so even today you can find in it an invaluable piece of “Oktoih” (first printed book in south Slavs).

Knowing that the monastery is the standpoint of free thought numerous occupiers from this area have hit it aiming for the free spirit of Kolasin people. So monastery several times suffered significant damages, and for entire 70 years it was without a roof which at the beginning of XVI century was taken off by the Turks in one of their rampages. In the second half of the same century the monastery was renewed and once again covered with a roof.

The artistic beauty of the monastery is far famous, first of all because of the frescoes with which the monastery is painted. By the period of origin frescoes date from two periods. One were painted in XIII century and the others in two periods in XVI and in XVIII century. “Gavran hrani proroka Iliju” (RAVEN FEEDS PROPHET ILIJA) made in XIII century is the oldest and the most famous fresco of Moraca monastery which is just a part of the series of frescoes with which the life of this saint prophet Ilija is being described. Today it is preserved in fragments and it represents “the only example of this cycle in monumental medieval painting”. Along this one, other famous frescoes from this creative period are frescoes “Pomazivanje careva i proroka” (OINTMENT OF EMPPERORS AND PROPHETS), `”Rodjenje Svetog Jovana krstitelja” (THE BIRTH OF SAINT JOVAN THE BAPTIZER) and others. Frescoes from XVI century are the biggest preserved entity of monastery wall painting from this period in these areas. In XVII century frescoes around main monastery doors were done by Georgije Mitrofanovic, “zoograph from the Hilandar Monastery”, one of the biggest masters of all times. This master founded also the painting workshop in the monastery whose influence started to spread quickly in these territories.

Moraca painting school is considered to be one of the greatest achievements of Byzantine art. It stands out with fine feeling for regular ratio in proportion, figures dominate in one non – hierarchy relationship, and thick lines with mild movements are noticeable. As for the colors, Moraca painting has surpassed Studenica and Milesevo painting especially in color tone modeling. Frescoes in Moraca show the victory of the so-called plastic style with which it takes the pioneer role when we are talking about painting in these areas in general.

Along with frescoes especially beautiful are icons which are placed next to the iconostasis, and which were made by the greatest masters of XVIII century. The icon of Sveti Sava, and the icon of Sveti Luka are considered to be the most valuable pieces of icon drawing on Balkan Peninsula. Several antiques and relics such as hand of Sveti Haralampije, engraved crosses, baptistery made of marble and a rod, which according to a legend belonged to Sveti Sava. Special place among precious things has the cross in the altar made in XVI century in walnut tree, which according to a legend was being made for 11 years. The monastery itself wil give you an unforgettable experience if you visit it. It is located next to the waterfall Svetigora, 10 kilometers away from Platije towards Kolasin, on a broadening of the canyon of River Moraca, in the foothill of high mountains Stozac (2140 m of height above the sea level), and Maganik (2139) meters of height above the sea level). Surrounded by high stonewall inside which sleeping chambers are located it will tell you some legend from this area. According to one of them this monastery was made from a special yellow stone, from the area which is one day of walk away from the monastery. According to a legend people made a column and turned from one hand to the other the stones from Tusin, a place where the yellow stone was located, to the Monastery Moraca.

It is interesting that in the yard of the Monastery there is a smaller church dedicated to Sveti Nikola. According to a legend it is even older that the monastery, and its architectonic solution does not look like a church edifice – it was raised in a shape of a square, and in the base it has the surface of 25m2, and it is 8 meters high.

Monastery has always been a political and cultural center of this area. Assemblies of folk and religious leaders of Montenegro and Serbia have been held in it on which some important decisions for both states were made.
In this area there are several smaller monasteries and churches, which round up the spiritual richness of Kolasin area.

Of other culturally historical monuments Old stone bridge on river Mrtvica, near Zelenu vir stands out which was raised by famous Montenegrin ruler Prince Danilo as a legacy of his mother. A bit above Kolasin are the remains of Turkish fortification the so-called Powder house which is protected by law. According to a legend by the order of Turkish authorities a Serbian mason built it. The building that was supposed to be used for storage of munitions and powder, by which it got its name, this mason built it in a shape of a cross. When the building was finished the Turks have notices the fraud, and executed the mason. The building remained, but it never was used for its original purpose.

Of great importance and significance are numerous cultural monuments such as monumental plaques and monumental hallmarks built in places which testify about important happenings from folk – liberation fight and other significant events from rich Kolasin history. Partisan monumental graveyard on Breza, north from Kolasin is a testimony about death and suffering of patriots of this area. It speaks about a heroic period of this area and about participation of its citizens in the fight for freedom. Great monument to fallen fighters and victims of fascist terror is built on the main city square, Square of fighters, in the very center of Kolasin.

There is also a monument to great Kolasin squad in monastery Moraca, and over 40 monumental plaques and hallmarks all over the municipality. In town there are also busts of national heroes Vukman Kruscic, Milutin Lakicevic, Jelica Maskovic and others. In the town on a smaller square dominates a grandiose monument to Veljko Vlahovic, fighter from Spanish war, from Yugoslavian FLF, and a distinguished politician from Kolasin.
Big Monumental home in Kolasin, specific for its architectonic solution is a monument dedicated to assembly of antifascist council of Motenegro and Boka.

Kolasin Hometown museum has three museum collections. With the rich ethnographic collection there are also set ups of history of FLF and the history of the town in general.

Today in Kolasin there is a cultural artistic association Mijat Maskovic, and the tow itself is the host to culturally y- artistic manifestations such as exhibits, visits of theaters, poet nights etc.

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