"Zica (Zhicha, pron. "jeecha") the "red" monastery" Zica by GyuriFT

Zica Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 79 photos

The foundation of the Serbian King Stefan Nemanjic

Zhicha was built between 1208 and 1230. In 1219 Zhica became the seat of the Serbian Archbishopic. I tried to find the explanation for unusual color of the church (red) because very few churches in Serbia and Russia are red. In Russia a church would have red color usually if it is "na krovi" ("on blood" = site of someone become a martyr, like the church of Demetrios in the city of Uglich where the son of Tsar Ivan IV ("Ivan, the menacing"***) was found dead). This is obviously not the case with Zhicha. Most sources say, the monastery is red in tradition with monasteries on Athos, but I am not convinced because Hilendar/Hilandar/Chilandariou also founded by King Stefan Nemanja and his son, St. Sava on Mt. Athos is not red.

The church in Zhicha, dedicated to the Ascension of Our Lord, displays the features of the Raska school. There are three layers of painting, each being a separate entity. The earliest frescoes were painted immediately after the first archbishop Sava's return from Nicaea (1219), but only in the choir portions of these have been preserved.

*** The "western" translation "Ivan the Terrible" is widely used but it is incorrect. The word "groznyi" is rather "menacing" than "terrible". "Terrible" would be "uzhasnyi", but the nickname of tsar is "Ivan Groznyi".

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Architecture, history, frescoes to admire. Monastery-made vine and shljivovica to buy
  • Cons:no monastery-made "sladoled" (iceream) for kids to "bribe" them to be patient while mom and dad take the pictures :-)
  • Last visit to Zica: Jun 2007
  • Intro Updated Dec 1, 2007
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“provodnik i zajac: nu, provodnik... pogodi! ("rabbit" and the conductor)”

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