Monastery Pavlovac is located in the foothills of the mountain Kosmaj, only seven kilometers from the city of Mladenovac (south of Belgrade). The church of Pavlovac is dedicated to St Nicholas, and it was built on the ruins of the Roman necropolis (graveyard). A Roman stone sarcophagus, decorated with ornaments and few arrows, is still on the site.
In medieval times the monastery was located on the road from Belgrade, over mountain Kosmaj, to Rudnik, and further south to Zica, Pec, Prizren, and Novo Brdo. In the village of Crkvine on the road to Rudnik (called Glava in the old times), a marble plaque was erected in 1427 to commemorate the death of the Serbian ruler Stefan Lazarevic, who suddenly died at this place.
The founder of the monastery and the time of its construction are unknown. Written sources relating to the monastery are insufficiently informative and no legends or folktales that mention it have been preserved. Turkish records from the 16th century only discuss details of the Pavlovac economy. However, a letter (а bill discharge) was sent to Dubrovnik from Pavlovac on November 21st, 1424, by the Serbian ruler Stefan Lazarević. This fact establishes the latest possible date of the monastery’s establishment. On the other hand, based on the church’s architecture, it can be assumed that it was built in the second decade of the 14th century.
The stone church of the monastery is located in the middle of the monastery complex, with the elongated and condensed triconchal base, a single dome, and a concurrently built narthex separated from the nave with a wall. The dome is octagonal, with narrow windows, and placed on a square base. Altar apse, circular both on the inside and outside, is lower than the lateral ones that are circular from the inside and polygonal from the outside. The altar apse has a small and narrow single stone window, while the lateral walls of the nave contain four oculi. Originally, all the oculi contained stone perforated rosettes; however, only the one located on the southern wall of the west nave is partially preserved. Ornamental motif of a spiraling twisted rope can be seen on the rosette border, as well as a few small fragments of interlaced ribbons. The stone portal between the nave and the nartex is well preserved, as well as the original altar table; unfortunately, the pavement made of stone slabs has been almost completely destroyed.
The monastery has reached modern age in a very damaged state - a falling church roof, an almost non-existent dome, entirely destroyed narthex and other monastery buildings, and with only a few fragments of fresco paintings in the church. Located north of the church are the ruins of a one-story residential building. South of the church is a partially preserved refectory with guest rooms, as well as the kitchen and the storage room. Today, the whole complex has been restored and thoroughly researched.
Monastery Pavlovac is located in central Serbia, some 10km west of Mladenovac.
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