Podgorica Culture - Part VI
The church has preserved frescoes which date from the XVI century, but because of the tumultuous past of the town, very few manuscripts and icons are conserved, even though it is reliably known that the church was a rich treasury. By its form very specific, the church of Sveti Djordje becomes one of the oldest witnesses of the history of town. Beside it in Podgorica there are several older sacral facilities, such as church in Srpska, a smaller Zeta village, which during its sanctification was the witness of the imprisonment of the founder of the dynasty Petrovic – Danilo Scepcevic Petrovic. In 1709. the decisive bishop Danilo, who started the inquiry of converts to Islam, was by trick captured in this church, and this event in Mountain Wreath was described by Petar II Petrovic Njegos (“I went down your rope, and the rope almost tore apart”).
The medieval Christian art, under the pressure of Otoman (Turkish) empire and Islamizing has been best preserved in the architecture and painting of this type of small churches. Certain monasteries and church facilities are picturesque, and among them in the suburbs of Podgorica we have Monastery Celija Piperska (CELL OF PIPERI), then a little bit more north, Monastery Duga, and Monastery Zdrebaonik. On Velja gora there is a legacy of duke of Rovci, Vuksan Bulatovic. The ruined churches were renewed by the people and by doing so they left in legacy one uninterrupted line of spiritual achievements. Not far from the town there is also Monastery Dajbabe, which in its base is in a shape of a cross and represents an interesting sacral object for visit. It is located below the Dajbabe hill which dominantly rises above the Zeta plain. For a visitor from any part of the world this monastery will be an unrepeatable spiritual experience, considering the fact that the work of nature and man (the church is located in the cave), here is in the co – living in celebration of God. Considering its extremely favorable geographic position and almost very day development of road and traffic infrastructure the visit to some of the churches and monasteries on the banks islands of Skadar lake would be more than recommended. In that way on the island Starcevo, on Skadar Lake, a picturesque church of the Holly Virgin, next to the grave of Bozidar Vukovic – Podgoricanin, makes a small island special for seeing and visiting; and when you add the fact that to the majority of this type of islands and monasteries you can come in the boat, by riding over the one of the most beautiful European lakes, the very thought of the visit is even more beautiful.
Only an hour away of ride by car towards the north of Montenegro, worthy of visiting is by all means monastery Moraca, the legacy from the age of Nemanja state. The inscription which is preserved until nowadays shows that the monastery was erected in 1252. a church in raska style, dedicated to Holy Virgin, was built in the oldest architectonic style of the Serbian states. During the XVI and XVII century a group of the most distinguished old masters, zoographs and scriveners of old church manuscripts stayed in it. The influence of their work was felt in all areas of Montenegro so this monastery even today is thought to be a germ of the Montenegrin culture. Frescoes such as the Raven feeds the prophet Ilija, is one of the numerous from the three periods in which the frescoes were made. The most beautiful ones belong to the period of the early existence of the monastery, XIII century, and among the late ones stands out the work of Djordje Mitrofanovic, the greatest master of the XVII century in these areas.
In the beginning of 1990’s the construction of the temple of the Christ’s resurrection has began on the right bank of Moraca, next to the small church which for decades has been serving the believers of the orthodox confession in Podgorica. This grandiose religious object with time is becoming one of the greatest temples of the orthodox spirituality in the world. Worthy of mentioning is also a little church near the castle of King Nikola, built in the XIX century.
Only a kilometer away from the center of the town in Podgorica there is a modern building of a catholic church, which is the center of gathering of the citizens of a Roman – Catholic confession, who mostly inhabit the area of Malesija. The visit to Tuzi, a small place in the heart of Malesija, and the talk with the local citizens would be an ideal opportunity to find out something more about the spirit of the Catholicism in these areas, as well as to visit some very beautiful sacral facilities, such as the church in the very center of Tuzi.
A visible Islamic influence on the history of the town, especially in the part of Stara Varos, has left even until nowadays the monuments of religious character which complement the picture of the multinational Podgorica. Two mosques stand out with the characteristic style of construction and with its importance for the Islamic religious community. Glavatovica mosque, built in XVI century suffered great destructions during the World War II, while the Osmanagica mosque suffered great damages. Today, renewed and placed in monuments of culture both, with its specific appearance and unavoidable mausoleum the so – called turbeh (burial chamber) allows that the non – Islamic citizenship of Podgorica, as well as the visitors of the town meet this oriental culture.