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Manasija Monastery


Monastery Manasija or Resava Monastery with the Church of Saint Trinity is one of the most important monuments of Serbian medieval culture and one of the most outstanding churches built in Morava architectural style. The monastery is located in the heart of Šumadija, about 30 km away from the highway Belgrade-Niš, and nowadays represents one of the most visited monasteries of Serbia. Manasija was built in the beginning of the 15th century, before Turkish campaign in Europe, as a real military fortification with towers and walls with a ditch. The monastery had 11 towers, the most prominent of which was Despot Tower, and later a two-level defense system was built. This defensive system was later used for Smederevo Fortress on Danube.

Floor mosaics and wall fresco along with architectural objects of Manasija represent a real rarity for Serbian medieval architecture and old Serbian painting. There are preserved ruins of the refectory and library, which hosted Resava Scriptorium. Monks, translators and writers used to gather in the Scriptorium and decorated manuscripts and books, this is why the monastery was a symbol of spirituality and enlightenment for several centuries. One of the most prominent member of Resava School was Constantine the Philosopher. Rules of Resava school were used in the monasteries of Ljubostinja, Hilandar, Pećka Patriarchy, Dečani, and was famous in Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Russia.

In the vicinity of Manasija monastery the Resava Cave is located. It was discovered long ago but is still one of the most interesting caves in Serbia. The cave and 11 hectares area around it, are a natural monument protected by the state.