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Sopoćani Monastery


Sopoćani Monastery belongs to “Stari Ras” sight along with Đurđevi Stupovi, the first object included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. The monastery is located in the „Valley of the Kings“ near the river-head of Raška, 15 km to the west from Novi Pazar. „Valley of the Kings“ is also called „Lilac valley“ because of an unusual story about King Uroš I. In order to welcome his bride, french princess Helen of Anjou, he ordered to plant in the valley all kinds of lilac.

World fame and the status of one of the most important Serbian cultural monuments belong to Sopoćani thanks to frescoes that is a masterpiece of Byzantian art. Frescoes were painted by Constantinople painters, old masters of former capital. „Assumption of the Virgin Mary“, the most famous fresco, stands out as a real masterpiece.

Sopoćani was built in 1260 by king Uroš I Nemanjić and then in 14th century Dušan the Strong, first Serbian king, extended Sopoćani. This Monastery, one of the most valued religious sights of the Middle Age, was built Raška architecture style with noticeable Romanesque influence, this is why it was included into the „Rout of culture Transromanica“ – rout that binds European heritage of the Romanesque period.