Stari Ras and Sopoćani (1979)
Serbia

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On the outskirts of Stari Ras, the first capital of Serbia, there is an impressive group of medieval monuments consisting of fortresses, churches and monasteries. The monastery at Sopocani is a reminder of the contacts between Western civilization and the Byzantine world. 

Sopocani, the medieval Serbia’s most brilliant monument to its arts, stands tucked away among the picturesque hills 16 km from Novi Pazar. 

Serbia 1942. German occupation of Serbia. Sopocani Monastery. Engraving dated 1065.

Yugoslavia 1969. Fresco from Sopocani. 13th century. "Christ before the Apostles".

The monastery was built arround 1265 by King Uros I, son of King Stefan the First Crowned. Like the majority of Serbian monasteries, it too was to serve as its founder's burial place. The marble sarcophagus above Uros‘s grave, in the southern part of the church, has survived to the present. 

  • Serbia 1942. German occupation of Serbia. Sopocani Monastery. Engraving dated 1065.  
  • Yugoslavia 1969. Fresco from Sopocani. 13th century. "Christ before the Apostles". 
Yugoslavia 1990. Icon of Christ in Sopocani Monastery. Yugoslavia 1994. Sopocani Monastery, 13th century. Serbia Montenegro 2005. Sopocani Monastery, painting by Paja Jovanivic, 1898.

The frescoes of Sopocani have won recognition long ago, both at home and abroad as the greatest accomplishment of medieval Serbian painting. Many prominent art historians have described them as the best works in the Byzantine style. 

Sources and links: 

Many thanks to Mr. Miomir Zivkovic (Serbia) for all help, support and encouragement. 

Other World Heritage Sites in Serbia (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Serbia section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 24 jul 2007  
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