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Novak Djokovic donated 100.000 euro monastery Gracanica, in order to protect them!!!

 
 
 
 
Monastery of Gracanica
 

 

The Gracanica monastery, near Lipljan in Kosovo, is one of the last monumental foundations of King Milutin Nemanjic. Built on the ruins of the former Church of the Holy Virgin, the monastery, finished in 1321, was dedicated to the Dormition of the Holy Virgin. On the southern wall of the chapel is written the king's charter, including the following words: "I have seen the ruins and the decay of the Holy Virgin's temple of Gracanica, the bishopric of Lipljan, so I have built it from the ground and painted and decorated it both within and without".

The focal paintings of Gracanica include the Festival Cycle, the Passion and the miracles of Christ. Inside the narthex, there are portraits of the founders: King Milutin and Queen Symonida, Queen Helen d'Anjou (king's mother) as a nun and King Milutin as a monk. Of particular importance is the Nemanjich dynasty genealogy, the first ever painted, which starts with Stefan Nemanja and ends with Milutin. Also in the narthex, there is an exhaustive illustration of the Last Judgment. The scenes from the life of St. Nicholas are in the north parecclesion, while the walls of the south one display scenes from the Old Testament and the lives of Christ and the Mother of God. The master painters supposedly were Michael and Eutihije with their assistants.
Of the former monastic compound, only the church has survived. The narthex and the tower were added a few decades later, in order to protect the frescoes on the west facade. The narthex was heavily damaged by the Turks several times between 1379-1383, when the tower was burned and the fire devoured a rich collection of manuscripts and other precious objects. The narthex was reconstructed in 1383. Again, Gracanica suffered damages at the time of the Kosovo battle (1389).

There are also considerable frescoes from 1570 in the exonarthex, commissioned by Patriarch Makarije Sokolovic. There are some paintings in the narthex that date back to the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, including the Baptism of Jesus, parts of the Virgin's Akathistos Hymns and the Ecumenical Councils. Two subjects, however, dominate the narthex of Gracanica: the Doxology to the Holy Virgin and the procession of the Serbian archbishops from Saint Sava to Patriarch Makarije Sokolovic. A historical composition of the death of the Metropolitan of Gracanica Dionisije covers the southeastern part of the narthex.
The paintings of Gracanica rank highest among the achievements of Milutin's period, characterized by influences of the Byzantine splendiferous and luxurious style called the Paleologan Renaissance. In terms of style, they are also related to the art of the other of Milutin's foundations.

 
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