Мonasteries and Churches of Montenegro

THE MORAČA MONASTERY

The Morača Monastery was built in 1252 by Prince Stefan, who was the representative of the Serbian medieval dynasty. By the end of IV century monastery was partially destroyed, but was restored in 1574. During the XVIII century the monastery was attacked by the Turks. The monks were forced to fight with weapons in their hands. Thus, in 1877, archimandrite of the monastery Mitrophan Ban led the battle against the Turks. As a result, he successfully repelled the attack of enemies, for which he was awarded a gold medal for bravery. Later the Mitrophan Ban became Metropolitan.

The monastery complex includes the church of the Dormition of the Mother of God and the little church of St. Nicholas. The church of Dormition of the Mother of God is famous for its rich wall paintings. One can see ancient frescoes and icons of the XVII and XVIII century here. One of the most notable pieces of sacred art are frescos of the XIII century, dedicated to the prophet Elijah, which consists of eleven scenes. One of the murals depicting the Prophet in the wilderness with a raven, bringing him food, is very well preserved.

Another treasure that is stored here is the first printed book of the Southern Slavs - Octoechos (Eight tones prayer book), printed in the Cyrillic alphabet in 1493. (It should be noted that the first printed book in Russia –"Apostle" - was printed by Ivan Fedorov 70 years later,  in 1564).  In the library of the monastery handwritten gospels and other unique documents are kept.

The Church of St. Nicholas in the Morača Monastery was built in 1635 on the foundation of the ruined defensive towers. For this reason, an architectural plan of the church has a square shape, and properly oriented in an east – west fashion. Well-preserved wall paintings dedicated to St. Nicholas and represent fifteen wonders made by the Saint.