We wish you a happy holiday season and all the best in the upcoming year. All of us at the Blago Fund want to thank you for supporting our work in many different ways, and we hope that you will continue to do so in the future.
While 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, particularly in regards to traveling and working, it made the planning of our expeditions impossible, especially those in Kosovo and Metohija. Yet, we did not remain idle, and we used the time to complete numerous behind the scene projects that are important for the overall BLAGO presence.
We made a new version of our website with a modern design and added content. Make sure to check it out: https://www.blagofund.org
Many of the collections are upgraded to a new look that is entirely responsive, esthetically improved, and easy to use on mobile devices
We have started a new collection of valuable medieval manuscripts - https://www.blagofund.org/Archives/Manuscripts. The two documents that we digitized (Manasija, Duboki Potok) found their place here, in addition to many links to already digitized Serbian manuscripts from all over the world
Server hardware had to be upgraded, and the system backup improved, both of the products (web presentations) and the originals
We increased our social media presence, posting regularly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For updates, make sure to like and follow our pages
At this point, we are looking into the new, very productive 2021, with the following significant projects.
Publishing: Mother of God in Serbian Medieval Wall Painting
As we have photographed innumerous frescoes in Serbian monasteries and churches with beautiful representations of The Mother of God, we wanted to create an entire publication devoted solely to depictions of the Mother of God in Serbian wall painting of the Middle Ages.
Over 100 pages of high-quality images from the most famous monasteries and those lesser known. This book will be sold in Serbian bookstores or on Amazon for a worldwide audience.
Collections:Sredacka Zupa (Средачка Жупа), Kosovo
The County of Sredska (“Sredachka Zhupa”) is a valley in the southeastern part of Kosovo and Metohija, below the Shar mountains and the source of the Prizren Bistrica river. Historically, this area constituted a small administrative division, “zhupa,” of the medieval Serbian state with the town of Sredska and seven villages around it. Relatively small size, it has a great number of old churches, built around the time of restoration of the Patriarchate of Pec in 1557. These small, one-aisled buildings were a work of local masons, made by the local populace’s efforts from different social strata. They testify to the people’s desire to preserve their religious and national identity despite the difficult economic and political circumstances. Besides their historical importance, many of these churches are of great artistic value, keeping many original wall-painting. Greek artists’ presence is evident in some of them, as they contain Greek inscriptions and unique iconographic solutions. The collection will be similar to the Velika Hoca that we did a few years ago.
Although we have been to Gracanica many times, we believe it is time for a new complete collection. Most of the frescoes have been cleaned and restored in the last few years, and the technology moved to the point of doubling the original picture resolution. Considering the proximity to Sredacka Zupa, we hope to accomplish both of the goals in one long field trip.
Collections: Monastery Kalenic (Каленић)
Built in the early 15th century by nobleman Bogdan, during Stefan Lazarevic’s reign, the Kalenic monastery is situated in central Serbia, Levac, near Kragujevac. It is an important Serbian monastery, belonging to the Morava school of architecture will make an exceptional addition to our collection!
Collections: Monastery Josanica (Јошаница)
It is located in the gorge of the river of the same name at the foot of the mountain Crni Vrh, near the village of Jošanički Prnjavor, about 10 km from Jagodina. The monastery church is dedicated to Saint Nicholas. It was demolished and rebuilt several times, and its history can be traced back to the 17th century only. It is an important place for the period of Serbian uprising against the Turkish occupation. In Josanica, Prince Milosh met with Grand Vizier Marachli Ali Pasha in 1815 to reach the peace agreement and create the modern Serbian state.
Collections: Church in Ramaca (Рамаћа)
The church in the village of Ramaca dates from the end of the 14th century and is dedicated to Saints Constantin and Jelena. The church is mentioned in Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent’s writings when the Turks visited this place during their campaign in the Balkans. It will be another of our collections from central Serbia.
Manuscripts: Duboki Potok, Kosovo
We have set our sights on two additional manuscripts from the Monastery Duboki Potok, in Kosovo and Metohija.
If you care about your heritage, or culture and history in general, want it preserved for future generations, and like see it promoted, help us accomplish our new year's goals. BLAGO is a non-profit organization with lots of volunteers; however, occasionally, we hire experts and helpers. We pay for expedition transportation and lodging, and we manage web servers, disk arrays, communication lines, ...