Church in Velika Hoca
Church in Velika Hoca

Medieval churches
in Velika Hoca

Velika Hoča is one of the oldest Serbian settlements in Metohija. It is mentioned in historical sources dating from the 12th-century when Stefan Nemanja donated this area to the Hilandar Monastery. Nemanja's descendants confirmed the gift to Hilandar (1198/1199) and enlarged the Hoča metochion. Velika Hoča was a strong economic and spiritual center in the Middle Ages with 24 churches and two or three monasteries and a village square. Eight active monasteries and five churches are preserved from that time.

One of the oldest is the church of St. Nicholas, built in the 13th century and renovated in the 16th century. According to tradition, it used to be almost entirely buried in the ground; only part of the roof and the front door could be seen. The people dug it up on one occasion. Church of St. John (St. John the Beheaded) is located on a hill. It is believed that it used to be a monastery, from which, at the end of the 19th century, traces of white stone foundations of large lodging houses could still be seen. Church of St. Stephen (St. Archdeacon Stephen) was a beautifully decorated place of worship at the end of the 19th century. In 1900, there was a Serbian school in a spacious grassy church court, erected as a two-story building. The church also owned real estate, which was taken care of by the chosen church tutor. In 1900, fields, vineyards, a church vineyard, and a building with barrels and tubs for pouring grapes were all owned by the church. St. Stephen's Church and the church of St. John date from the 14th century, and both were renovated in the 16th century. The Church of the New Holy Sunday was in ruins for a long time until the locals repaired it at the end of the 19th century. It was built like a small room in which once a month around the new moon, on Sundays, mostly women, would come with a priest when they would consecrate the water and distribute bread to the poor, and the place of worship was in the care of an elderly local woman.

There are also three churches in the village from recent times, and the remains of five more churches survive. These churches were dedicated in 1900: St. Archangel Michael, St. Apostle and Evangelist Luke, St. Elijah, St. Apostle Peter, and St. Ann. Their dedications were unknown until a clergyman (wearing a mantle, with a leather belt) appeared and spent a week in the village. He visited all of the church ruins, told their names and prayed, and afterward left Hoča.


The church of Arilje is dedicated to Bishop Achillius of Larissa, Greece, a participant of the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.

The monastery of Mileseva was founded by Vladislav, King of Serbia, son of Stefan the First-Crowned and grandson of Stefan Nemanja.

Visoki Decani Monastery is a major Serbian Orthodox monastery, situated in Kosovo & Metohija, 12 km south from the town of Pec.

Blago Fund


Velika Hoca is located in Kosovo & Metohija.