"Mile?eva Monastery" Prijepolje by GyuriFT

Prijepolje Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 33 photos

The history of the monastery

Mile?evo monastery is located about 5 km from the city of Prijepolje. It was founded between 1234 and 1236 by Serbian King Vladislav. It represents Ra?ka school - a Latin period in Byzantine art. This it is not evident from the first look because the appearance of the church significantly changed in 1863. The Church is dedicated to the Ascension of Our Lord.

Highlights in the history of the church:

1234-1236: foundation
1236: Vladislav moved the relics of his uncle Saint Sava from Veliko Trnovo.
1236: The narthex was added.
1377: Coronation of Tvrtko I as the King of Serbia and Bosnia
1459: The Turks set the monastery on fire, but it was soon restored.
1557-1571: During the time of Patriarch Makarije Sokolović (relative of Grand Vizier Mehmed-pa?a Sokolović) the monastery is renovated, the narthex of the church was painted. The renovators also probably cut through the wall between the narthex and the nave.
1594: The Turks following orders of Albanian Sinan Pasha removed the relics of St. Sava from the monastery and publicly burned them on Vracar hill in Belgrade. Sinan Pasha is not remembered kindly by Christians: the mosque bearing his name in Prizren was constructed using material from nearby Serbian Archangel monastery.
1863: New restoration of the church, significant changes in the appearance: a dome was constructed on top of the narthex originally built in 1236.
Interesting fact: church received donations by first Russian tsar, Ivan IV (also known as "terrible") and different Valachian and Moldavian rulers.

The church has a ground plan untypical for the Ra?ka school. It has only one nave which widens from the west to the east. The original dome is raised on several arches in a stairway-like arrangement. The second dome was built much later. The church was richly decorated with stone ornaments - most did not survive.

Frescoes of the monastery

-The original frescoes are from 1230-s. These frescoes represent the supreme achievement of European painting of that time. The most famous composition is the resurrection on the south wall of the west bay.
- The frescoes in the narthex and the adjacent chapel were painted in the 1230s and 1240s.
- The church was repainted between 1557 and 1571, a new layer of frescoes was added. Only fragments survived - but these frescoes protected the famous frescoes of 13th century from fires.

The "White Angel"

White Angel is one of the most famous frescoes in Serbian culture. It depicts an angel sitting in front of the tomb of Christ. The first satellite broadcast in 1963 between Europe and North America sent a picture of White Angel from Mile?eva in first broadcasting frames.

Later, same signal has been transmitted to space to meet extraterrestrial life forms.

  • Last visit to Prijepolje: Oct 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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  • Zvrlj's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2010 at 3:30 AM

    Excellent page. I see you agree with me ;-) Do you like the frescoes? Angel is stunning, and I think that two portraits of king Vladislav are great too.


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