Studenica Monastery

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[[Image:MonasteryStudenicaSerbia.jpg|right|380px|Studenica Monastery]]The '''Studenica Monastery''', built in the late 12th century, is near city of Usce in the valley of Studenica River in central Serbia.
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[[Image:TheCrucifixionStudenica.jpg|thumb|left|The Crucifixion]]
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The '''Studenica Monastery''', built in the late 12th century, is near city of Usce in the valley of Studenica River in central Serbia.
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[[Image:MonasteryStudenicaSerbia.jpg|right|380px|Studenica Monastery]]
  
 
==History==  
 
==History==  
Founded in 1186 the Monastery of Studenica, dedicated to the Presentation of the Holy Virgin, is the mother-church of all Serbian temples. The first stage works were completed by the spring of 1196, when its founder Stefan Nemanja ([[Simeon the Myrrh-flowing|St. Simeon Nemanja]]) abandoned his throne, becoming a [[monk]]. [[Simeon the Myrrh-flowing|Nemanja's]] third son St. [[Sava of Serbia|Sava]] molds Studenica into the political, cultural and spiritual center of medieval Serbia founding within its walls crucial institutions like the first organized hospital and school<ref>Teodosije, Life of St. Sava, (Belgrade: Danicic Publishing, 1860)</ref>. Studenica was continualy expanded by the members of the Nemanjic dynasty. King Radoslav, grandson of the founder added to the church an [[exonarthex]] in 1235. King Milutin built a small dedicated to Saints [[Joachim and Anna|Joachim and Anna]] in 1314.
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Founded in 1186, the Monastery of Studenica, which is dedicated to the [[Presentation of the Theotokos|Presentation of the Holy Virgin]], is the mother-church of all Serbian [[temple]]s. The first stage of work on the monastery was completed by the spring of 1196, when its founder Stefan Nemanja ([[Simeon the Myrrh-flowing|St. Simeon Nemanja]]) abandoned his throne, and became a [[monk]]. [[Simeon the Myrrh-flowing|Nemanja's]] third son St. [[Sava of Serbia|Sava]] molded Studenica into the political, cultural, and spiritual center of medieval Serbia. He founded within its walls crucial institutions such as the first organized hospital and school<ref>Teodosije, Life of St. Sava, (Belgrade: Danicic Publishing, 1860)</ref>. Studenica was continually expanded by the members of the Nemanjic dynasty. King Radoslav, grandson of the founder added an [[narthex|exonarthex]] to the church in 1235. King Milutin built a small [[chapel]] dedicated to Ss. [[Joachim and Anna|Joachim and Anna]] in 1314.
  
There were other church buildings built over time within the monastery complex, but they were either completely lost or remain only as a foundation trace. Church of St. [[Nicholas of Myra|Nicholas]], a small single-nave church predating the monastery complex remains there as well.
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Over time other church buildings were built within the [[monastery]] complex, but they were either completely lost or remain only as a foundation trace. Church of St. [[Nicholas of Myra|Nicholas]], a small single-nave [[church]] that predated the monastery complex, remains there as well.
  
During Turkish occupation monastery have suffered desecration of conversion to storage building and even the stable. It have also been damaged by fire and earthquake. Smaller restoration efforts happened throughout its history. Major restoration effort occurred in modern times, between 1963-1989.
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During the Turkish occupation the monastery was desecrated by conversion to a storage building and even a stable. It was also damaged by fire and earthquake. Smaller restoration efforts happened throughout its history. A major restoration effort occurred in modern times, between 1963-1989.
  
 
Monastery of Studenica celebrated its 800th anniversary in 1986.
 
Monastery of Studenica celebrated its 800th anniversary in 1986.
  
 
==Architecture==  
 
==Architecture==  
The Virgin's Church is a domed single-nave basilica. At its eastern end there is a three-sided apse, while a [[narthex]] faces west. There are also vestibules on the north and the south. In the 1235, a large [[exonarthex]] was added, though in much poorer workmanship and stone quality. The main facades were built with slabs of locally queried white marble. Externally, the Church harmoniously reconciles two architectural styles, the [[Romanesque]] and the [[Byzantine]]. The blending of these two styles eventually produced a particular style of architecture known as the [[Raska]] School.
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The Virgin's Church is a domed single-[[nave]] [[basilica]]. At its eastern end there is a three-sided [[apse]], while the [[narthex]] faces west. There are also vestibules on the north and the south sides of the building. In 1235, a large exonarthex was added, though with much poorer workmanship and stone quality. The main facades were built with slabs of locally quarried white marble. Externally, the Church harmoniously reconciles two architectural styles, the [[Romanesque]] and the [[Byzantine]]. The blending of these two styles has produced a particular style of architecture known as the [[Raska]] School.<ref>Mirjana Sakota, Studenica Monastery (Belgrade, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, 1989) ASIN: B0007BN7QQ</ref>
  
==Fresco Painting ==
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==Frescos==
The oldest frescoes within the monastery complex can be found in the Church of St. [[Nicholas of Myra|Nicholas]], dating to early 12th century. However, the knowledge about their origin is lacking.
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The oldest frescoes within the monastery complex can be found in the Church of St. [[Nicholas of Myra|Nicholas]], which date to the early twelfth century. However, the knowledge about their origin is lacking.
  
Initial fresco layer in the main church have been finished by 1208 by painters from Constantinople school. Two frescoes from this period thankfully surviving in excellent shape to the modern age best represent the style and the ideas of the initial decoration. Monumental Crucifixion and the fresco Mother of God of Studenica.
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The initial fresco layer in the main church was designed by [[Simeon the Myrrh-flowing|St. Simeon Nemanja]] and St. [[Sava of Serbia|Sava]]. The frescoes were finished in 1208 by painters from the Constantinople school. Two frescoes from this period have survived in excellent condition. These best represent the style and the ideas of the initial decoration. These include the Monumental Crucifixion and the fresco [[Theotokos|Mother of God]] of Studenica.
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Mother of God of Studenica fresco represents symbolically the spiritual mother of the newly fledged Serbian state. In its signage and name it contains a religious, political, and ideological statement of a new state. First, the inscription is in the Serbian language, cyrillic "Studenicka Holy Mother of God", not  usual Greek "MHTHR QEOU". The fresco signage in Cyrillic in the churches was done in the territory of the archiepiscopacy of Ohrid before  Constantinople gave independence to the [[Church of Serbia]] as a challenge its [[jurisdiction]]. Another novelty was the very name Studenicka (meaning: of Studenica), which confirms the creation of a national cult regarding the [[icon]] of the Mother of God that strove toward ecclesiastical independence, which did follow.<ref>Mihailo Maletic, Studenica, (Belgrade, Knjizevne Novine, 1968) ASIN: B000XXPKIQ</ref>
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[[Image:TheCrucifixionStudenica.jpg|thumb|left|The Crucifixion]]
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The fresco of the Crucifixion dominates the whole Western wall of the main [[chapel]]. Here is seen the style of St. [[Sava of Serbia|Sava]] who wanted to represent important ideas in proportional physical size, and there is no greater message in Christianity but the Crucifixion of Christ. While most other Studenica frescoes of the time follow more reserved appearance, in the Crucifixion one can see clearly emotional figures that point to the development of a new style in century to come.
  
Frescoes in the Kings Church have been painted during 1310's.
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The frescoes in the King's Church were painted during 1310s. The main theme is a number of narrative frescoes about the Ss. [[Joachim and Anna]] and the Holy Virgin. They serve not only a religious purpose but are educational tools as well. A great example is the [[Nativity of the Theotokos|Nativity of the Virgin]]. In addition to describing the Biblical story, the fresco shows and has been used to teach proper hygienic practices.<ref>Mila Rajkovic, The King's Church in Studenica, (Belgrade, Knjizevne Novine, 1964) ASIN: B0006D1P6O</ref>
  
Major repainting of the lost or heavily damaged areas have been done in 1569.
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Major repainting of the lost or heavily damaged areas was done in 1569.
  
For the first time in the Orthodox iconography all the inscriptions were done in Serbian language, instead of the traditional Greek satisfying both political needs of the Serbian Royal family and practical needs of the population.
 
  
 
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Latest revision as of 13:57, May 5, 2010

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The Studenica Monastery, built in the late 12th century, is near city of Usce in the valley of Studenica River in central Serbia.

Studenica Monastery

Contents

History

Founded in 1186, the Monastery of Studenica, which is dedicated to the Presentation of the Holy Virgin, is the mother-church of all Serbian temples. The first stage of work on the monastery was completed by the spring of 1196, when its founder Stefan Nemanja (St. Simeon Nemanja) abandoned his throne, and became a monk. Nemanja's third son St. Sava molded Studenica into the political, cultural, and spiritual center of medieval Serbia. He founded within its walls crucial institutions such as the first organized hospital and school[1]. Studenica was continually expanded by the members of the Nemanjic dynasty. King Radoslav, grandson of the founder added an exonarthex to the church in 1235. King Milutin built a small chapel dedicated to Ss. Joachim and Anna in 1314.

Over time other church buildings were built within the monastery complex, but they were either completely lost or remain only as a foundation trace. Church of St. Nicholas, a small single-nave church that predated the monastery complex, remains there as well.

During the Turkish occupation the monastery was desecrated by conversion to a storage building and even a stable. It was also damaged by fire and earthquake. Smaller restoration efforts happened throughout its history. A major restoration effort occurred in modern times, between 1963-1989.

Monastery of Studenica celebrated its 800th anniversary in 1986.

Architecture

The Virgin's Church is a domed single-nave basilica. At its eastern end there is a three-sided apse, while the narthex faces west. There are also vestibules on the north and the south sides of the building. In 1235, a large exonarthex was added, though with much poorer workmanship and stone quality. The main facades were built with slabs of locally quarried white marble. Externally, the Church harmoniously reconciles two architectural styles, the Romanesque and the Byzantine. The blending of these two styles has produced a particular style of architecture known as the Raska School.[2]

Frescos

The oldest frescoes within the monastery complex can be found in the Church of St. Nicholas, which date to the early twelfth century. However, the knowledge about their origin is lacking.

The initial fresco layer in the main church was designed by St. Simeon Nemanja and St. Sava. The frescoes were finished in 1208 by painters from the Constantinople school. Two frescoes from this period have survived in excellent condition. These best represent the style and the ideas of the initial decoration. These include the Monumental Crucifixion and the fresco Mother of God of Studenica.

Mother of God of Studenica fresco represents symbolically the spiritual mother of the newly fledged Serbian state. In its signage and name it contains a religious, political, and ideological statement of a new state. First, the inscription is in the Serbian language, cyrillic "Studenicka Holy Mother of God", not usual Greek "MHTHR QEOU". The fresco signage in Cyrillic in the churches was done in the territory of the archiepiscopacy of Ohrid before Constantinople gave independence to the Church of Serbia as a challenge its jurisdiction. Another novelty was the very name Studenicka (meaning: of Studenica), which confirms the creation of a national cult regarding the icon of the Mother of God that strove toward ecclesiastical independence, which did follow.[3]

The Crucifixion

The fresco of the Crucifixion dominates the whole Western wall of the main chapel. Here is seen the style of St. Sava who wanted to represent important ideas in proportional physical size, and there is no greater message in Christianity but the Crucifixion of Christ. While most other Studenica frescoes of the time follow more reserved appearance, in the Crucifixion one can see clearly emotional figures that point to the development of a new style in century to come.

The frescoes in the King's Church were painted during 1310s. The main theme is a number of narrative frescoes about the Ss. Joachim and Anna and the Holy Virgin. They serve not only a religious purpose but are educational tools as well. A great example is the Nativity of the Virgin. In addition to describing the Biblical story, the fresco shows and has been used to teach proper hygienic practices.[4]

Major repainting of the lost or heavily damaged areas was done in 1569.


St. Sava
Mother of God
Nativity of the Virgin

See also

References

  1. Teodosije, Life of St. Sava, (Belgrade: Danicic Publishing, 1860)
  2. Mirjana Sakota, Studenica Monastery (Belgrade, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, 1989) ASIN: B0007BN7QQ
  3. Mihailo Maletic, Studenica, (Belgrade, Knjizevne Novine, 1968) ASIN: B000XXPKIQ
  4. Mila Rajkovic, The King's Church in Studenica, (Belgrade, Knjizevne Novine, 1964) ASIN: B0006D1P6O


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