This Serbian Orthodox Monastery is located in the very near Novi Pazar, in the Raška region of Serbia. It lies on top of an accessible elevation surrounded by woods. It is known as the “Tracts of St. George” and was erected in ca. 1170. According to medieval chronicles and manuscripts, it is exceptional for its position, significance and its architecture. It was commissioned by Stefan Nemanja, who dedicated this church to St. George for letting him out of the dungeon-cave, in which his brothers put him.
The construction of the Monastery was most probably started in 1167, and, according to the endower’s inscription on the western portal of the church, it was completed in 1170/71. Uniquely, the staircase leads to the west entrance, due to the position of the church. Artisans from the coastlands have brought along their Romanesque skills.
It was commission by Stefan Nemanja, who dedicated the church to St. George, for having him out of dungeons-caves where his brothers shut him. Following that conflict with his brothers, Stefan Nemanja took over the power of the Grand Zupan of Raška.
The Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery is unique of its style in Serbia for it is fresco-painted by it´s constructor Stefan Nemanja who directly ordered himself frescoes to be painted only in this shrine. With the addition of the apse on the eastern side in 1282/83, the entry tower was transformed in 1316 into the chapel and became the tomb of King Dragutin. In 1589 the Monastery Church of Djurdjevi Stupovi – Saint George in Ras received the lead roof. With the withdraw of the Austrian army in 1689 monks left the monastery as well. The Monastery of Saint George’s Pillars was heavily destroyed in 1690 when Serbian people were persecuted by the Turks and had to leave their origins to the very north of the country and to settle down in areas of Austria-Hungary Empire. In 1722 Turks destroyed the monastery and intended to take the stones from the church to Novi Pazar in order to build a fortress. The tomb of King Dragutin was looted in the 18th century when the Monastery was damaged. In addition to painting the frescoes depicting historical scenes in the interior of the chapel of King Dragutin, the works carried out in the monastery at the end of the 18th century also included the building of a new refectory, dormitories and paintings in the narthex of the catholicon. Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery was demolished several times during its long history, the most severe destruction happened during the First World War when it was almost ruined to the ground. Substantial archaeological and restoration and reconstruction works on the Saint George monastery complex in Ras are still in process. The Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery started the huge reconstruction campaign inviting Serbs, artists and all other people of spiritual sense and good will to help restoration in the co-called renown appeal “Restore/rise Saint George’s Pillars – restore ourselves“.
ARCHITECTURE AND FURNITURE
Characteristics of the Romanesque style are the two domes that are included in the plan of the church situated in the west, to the left and right of the narthex. The procedure and spatial layout of the church, portals and stylistic finishing were all done in the Romanesque style. Djurdjevi Stupovi was also included in the World Art Heritage by UNESCO.
It consists of two remarkable towers, lateral vestibules, cupola with elliptic basis, the irregular shape of the altar area, as well as a specific arrangement of the central dome space of the church. Single-aisle temple with the altar consisting of three apses, naos and narthex, in its external appearance reflects the spirit of Roman construction. The combination of Byzantine spatial arrangement and Roman architecture resulted in an original symbiosis that has been the ground for unique architectural style.
Monday – Saturday: 9.00 – 16.00
Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery
36300 Novi Pazar
+381 20 445 110
ENTRANCE FEES & GUIDED TOURS
For guided tours please ask directly at the object.
TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE
28 novembra br 47
36300 Novi Pazar
+381(0)20 338 030
Telephone: +381(0)20 338-030