Prizren, The Imperial City

The town of Prizren, closed on one side by mountain massifs, and on the other by the south of the Metohija plain, has been inhabited since ancient times and developed along the course of the river Bistrica. This trade and craft town, for centuries at the intersection of caravan routes, was equally exposed to the influences of East and West.

The medieval history of Prizren is partially found in the chrysobull of the Byzantine emperor Basil II, issued in 1019. The Chair of the Bishop of Prizren, as later written documents show, and more recently material sources found, was located in the basilica on whose remains King Milutin erected a new cathedral - the Church of Theotokos of Ljevis.

By the beginning of the thirteenth century, Prizren was under the rule of the Byzantines, then briefly by the Bulgarians, to be included in the borders of the Serbian state by King Stefan, the Firstcrowned in the second decade of the thirteenth century. In 1219 the Church of Theotokos of Ljeviš was the center of one of the essential dioceses of the autocephalous Serbian Church. The city reached its zenith in the fourteenth century and was one of the capitals of emperors Dušan and Uroš, from the house of Nemanjić.

The monumentality and beauty of the Theotokos of Ljevis overshadowed the place of the eternal rest of Emperor Dušan - a temple dedicated to the Holy Archangels near Prizren. At the same time, the noblemen of Prizren followed the lead of their rulers, and several dozen churches were erected and painted in Prizren and its vicinity during the fourteenth century.

The Turks conquered Prizren in the mid-15th century. The Serbian churches, those not destroyed, were transformed into mosques, and the spiritual life of the Serbian Christian population in Prizren took place only in the small church of St George (Runović church).

Insufficiently studied and inadequately documented monuments consistently lose their importance and value. There is some published literature on the Theotokos of Ljevis; however, a lack of comprehensive digital archive of the church, as well as many others in the old town of Prizren, are limiting the further scientific research. Therefore, in cooperation with the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the BLAGO Fund documented and presents the Prizren churches of Theotokos of Ljevis, Holy Savior, Saint Nicholas (Tutic) and Saint George (Runovic), as they are particularly relevant to Serbian heritage and spirituality.




BLAGO Prizren collection would not be possible without the support of the Board for the study of Kosovo and Metohia of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA).

BLAGO Prizren collection is partially financed by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia.


Prizren is located in the southern part of Kosovo & Metohija.