The impressive building which was built by the influence of the Raška School eminently illustrates the birth of artistic activity in medieval Serbia, which attained the highest standards in the art and culture of the Byzantine Empire and the regions of Central and Southeastern Europe. The unique architectural complex formed by numerous structures in Stari Ras (Old Ras), situated at a crossroads of eastern and western influences, testifies to the period from 12th to the early 14th centuries, when the ancient town was the first capital of the Serbian state.
The monastery, built in the Serbian-Byzantine style of the old Raška School in 1265, was donated by King Stefan Uroš I. and was intended to serve as a burial place for him. Serbian architecture of the 13th century is represented by large monasteries which were built according to the concepts of Byzantine monasteries. The latest archaeological researches reveal a special design to enable the life of monastic communities
Since the 17th century, during the wars between Austrians and Turks, the monastery suffered severe destruction and until the beginning of the 20th century stood as a ruin without a roof or dome. After several restoration steps, it was able to be rebuilt and, above all, the excellent frescoes had been saved. The Monastery compound of Sopoćani (together with the complex of the Ancient Ras) because of exceptional spiritual, cultural and artistic value was included by UNESCO, in 1979 in the List of the World Cultural Heritage.
ARCHITECTURE AND FURNITURE
The Monastery with the church devoted to Trinity, it is the endowment of King Uroš I (1243-1276). It was built in the second half of 13th century, and became mausoleum of the royal family. From outside the church looks like a three-nave basilica. In that way the Sopoćani resembles in its form, the Romanesque churches of the West. The portals and all the windows, except of the cupola are Romanesque in shape. The western turret was built later on and bears the characteristics of Romanesque art. Although Sopoćani has not many rich adornments carved in marble on the façade, portals and doors. Its greatest artistic achievement and value is the internal decoration – frescoes, as one of the most exquisite painting masterpieces of the European art of 13th century.
Summer (April 1 – October 31)
7.00am – 7.00pm
Winter (November 1 – March 31)
8.00am – 4.00pm
Liturgy on Saturdays and Sundays at 7.15am
In the evening before a holiday at 5.00pm
36308 Sopoćani, Stari Ras
Phone: + 381 (0) 445 110
ENTRANCE FEES & GUIDED TOURS
Adults: EUR 2,00
Guided Tours on request.