Sopocani Monastery is one of the most significant cultural monuments in Serbia. It is one of the Christianity symbols, and for sure, one of the greatest tourist attractions of this region. The Monastery is visited by a huge number of believers and tourists every year, not only for its significance but for the frescos which are considered to be a masterpiece of Christian art. Sopocani Monastery is classified among the monarchy monasteries due to the fact that in the port of the monastery are preserved the relics of King Uros I, as well as a great deal of the relics of the Saint practitioners Kozma and Damian. Sopocani Monastery owns the title of “Carska Lavra” which denotes the monastery complex of the greatest purpose.
The main reason why this monastery is classified among the most beautiful ones is because of the frescos which are preserved in the Monastery. There are many frescos of the Nemanjic Dynasty family members. The Monastery was painted by some of the greatest artists from Constantinopole. It is interesting that the materials which were used for the painting of the Monastery were of so good quality that they stayed until today even though these were exposed to extraordinarily bad conditions for more than two hundred years. The most significant component of frescos is the one dedicated to the Assumption of Mary which is painted on an area of 40 square meters, which made this composition a part of numerous world exhibitions. Sopocani Monastery is famous because of the frescos and the manner of painting which was extraordinarily progressive for this period.
Sopocani Monastery and Old Ras region 1979 included on UNESCO’s list of cultural heritage.
Sopocani Monastery is the foundation of Stefan Uros I Nemanjic. The precise year of construction remains unknown, although, the year of construction was engraved in the stone of the Monastery since the Monastery sustained serious damages, the exact year cannot be deciphered. It is interesting that there are not much data about the Monastery before the Ottoman reign, even though the monks had huge problems during this period. Despite that life in the Monastery was unbothered including books copying. Today, there is a book originating from this period under the title “Sopocanski pojamnik”, and is located in the Peterburg’s Museum. Before the First Great Migration of Serbs, the Turks destroyed the Monastery and took away leaden roofing. The Monastery remained devastated for the following two centuries.
It is located at a 20-minute drive, and more than 120 minutes on foot from the city center (see the location here). Unfortunately, there is no public transport that goes there. The church is still active. A curator or a priest is usually there on weekdays and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entrance is 2 euros for foreigners.
Have a look at our video about it here.