Monastery Studenica and its main church, dedicated to the Presentation of the Holy Virgin, is the most famous of all Serbian monasteries. The first stage was completed in the spring of 1196, when Stefan Nemanja, Grand Zupan of Raska, abandoned his throne and settled in the monastery. The monastery grounds contain four churches:

  • The main church dedicated to the Presentaton of the Holy Virgin
  • The King's church built by King Milutin
  • St Nicholas church
  • The ruins of the St John church


The Presentation of the Holy Virgin Church is a domed single-nave basilica, and harmoniously reconciles two architectural styles, the Romanesque and the Byzantine (later know as the Raska School style). The three-sided apse is located in the east, while an extended narthex faces west; there are also vestibules on the north and the south. The facades were built with slabs of white marble; inside, the church is revetted with tufa blocks.


Serbian King Milutin had the King's Church built in 1313 or 1314 within the walls of the Studenica Monastery, itself constructed by his ancestor Simeon Nemanja. The church is devoted to saints Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Most Holy Theotokos, Mother of God, but it has become more famous for its founder as the "King's Church".


The complex of the Studenica monastery includes the Church of St Nicholas, a small single-nave church with painted frescoes from the twelfth or possibly early thirteenth centuries.

Studenica Lunette
Image Description


Studenica is located in the central part of Serbia, in between Kraljevo, Raska, and Ivanjica, on the foothills of the mountain Golija.