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Moraca Monastery

The monastery Moraca was raised on the right bank of the River Moraca, not far from Kolasin. This church was built in 1252 by Stefan Nemanja, son of king Vukasin, and grandson of Nemanja, which can be seen on the inscription, which is situated above the doors on the west entrance. This mystical sacral edifice is surrounded, like a medieval fortress, with high stonewall inside which there are sleeping quarters which can tell you some legend from this area. According to one legend, which is present among the local people, this monastery was made of special yellow stone, which is found in the area very far from the place where the monastery actually is. According to this legend people from this area made a column, which was tens of kilometers long, and in that way turned the stone from hand to hand from the place called Tusine, the place where the stone was located, to the present monastery Moraca.

The monastery complex is made of Synod church Uspenja Bogorodice (Uspenje – Falling into sleep, Falling into Sleep of Holy Mother of God), small church of Sveti Nikola (St. Nicolas), as well as of sleeping quarters building. Synod church is big and has one transept. It was made in style of Raska churches, with a half circle apsidal and dome and in difference to the churches, which have been made in coastal style; the walls of this church have been rendered. Main entrance is made in roman style.

Beside the architecture, which is characteristic for this monastery, what is also interesting is the painting of the monastery. Artistic beauty of the monastery is far famous, mainly because of the frescoes with which it has been painted. By the period of origin frescoes date from two periods. Ones 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 the 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 prophets and emperors), `”Rodjenje Svetog Jovana krstitelja” (The birth of St. Jovan the baptizer) and others. Frescoes from XVI century are the biggest preserved entity of the 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 (St. Sava), and the icon of Sveti Luka (St. Luke) are considered to be the most valuable pieces of icon drawing on Balkan Peninsula. Several antiques and relics such as hand of Sveti Haralampije (St. 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 will give you an unforgettable experience if you visit it.

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