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[blago-now] Prizren 2020 Collection

[blago-now] Prizren 2020 Collection

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Insufficiently studied and inadequately documented monuments consistently lose their importance and value. There is some published literature on the Theotokos of Ljevis in Prizren; 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, and support from the Ministry of Culture, Republic of Serbia, the BLAGO Fund documented and presents the Prizren churches that are most relevant to the Serbian heritage and spirituality:


Theotokos of Ljevis

Holy Savior Church

Saint Nicholas ('Tutic')

Saint George ('Runovic')


Theotokos of Ljevis | Virtual Reality | Pictures Collection


The church of Theotokos of Ljevish, Prizren's Cathedral, was erected by King Milutin in the early 14th century (1307-1309). It was built on the foundations of a three-nave basilica from the X-XI centuries, which was probably dedicated to Theotokos Eleusa (the Merciful) and itself erected on the site of an older non-christian temple. The church from the X-XI centuries was partially restored in the XIII century, during the reign of King Stefan, the Firstcrowned, when the Diocese of Prizren joined the autocephalous Serbian Church. During the reign of King Milutin, a thorough restoration of the temple was carried out, and inscriptions on the eastern façade, made in brick, testify to this King's endeavor, carried out by the Prizren Bishops Damian and Sava, the latter Archbishop of Sava III. The names of Byzantine artists, proto-masters responsible for erecting and painting the seats of bishops of Prizren in the fourteenth century are also known - the architect Nikola and the painter Astrapa are mentioned in the fresco-inscription on the vault of the church narthex.


St George Church | Picture Collection


The church of St George, also known as Runovic’s church, was built by the brothers Runovic from Prizren in the 15th century. It is located in the old town, in the courtyard of the Prizren’s cathedral, also dedicated to St George. The church was used as a Prizren cathedral from the middle of the 18th century when the Turks converted the Theotokos of Ljevis church into the mosque until 1887 when the much larger Cathedral of St George was completed. During the Turkish occupation, many religious icons and relics were held in the church. A partial donor’s (Ktetorial) inscription, carved in the stone, from the year of 1331/1132 was discovered, mentioning Dragoslav and Bela Tutic of St Nicholas church.


The church of St Nicholas (1331/1332), located in the old town of Prizren (known as Papaz-Carshija), is the endowment of nobleman Dragoslav Tutic (Nicholas in his monk’s days) and his wife Bela. This is confirmed by the fragments of carved in stone donor inscription (Ktetorial) found in the church of St George of Runovic family, as well as a transcript produced in the 19th century.


At the foot of the Prizren fortress Kaljaja, on a plateau with a view of Prizren, is the Church of the Holy Savior, the endowment of the Prizren noble family Vladojevic. The church is first mentioned in the founding charter of Emperor Dušan issued to the monastery of the Holy Archangels near Prizren (around 1348), which, among other things, states that the Holy Savior and all his estates, with the consent of the lord Mladen Vladojević and his mother, are attached to Dušan's endowment, as they are exchanged for the church and estates in Ohrid. The mention of Mladen's family in the charter and the emphasis on his patronage, which he had to inherit from his father, suggest that the Church of the Holy Savior could have been built during the second or third decade of the 14th century.

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While the content of the BLAGO Fund collections is free to use,  there are also some restrictions on commercial use and proper attribution of the material.  Follow the links below for more information.

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