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Žiča Monastery


Žiča Monastery, “mother of all churches”, is located in the “Valley of the Kings” where Serbian medieval state was born. Importance of Žiča for Serbian people and Balkan region is enormous. The monastery was founded by first Serbian King Stefan Nemanjić the First-Crowned. Here 7 medieval kings of Serbian Kingdom were crowned. After 500 years King Milan Obrenović was crowned in 1882 as the first new era king, and the nearby town Kraljevo got the name in honor of this event (Serbian „kralj“ means „king“).

The Monastery was built in 1221 and is an endowment of Stefan the First-Crowned. A big role in the construction was played by his brother, Saint Sava, first Serbian archbishop. When in the beginning of 13th century Serbian church became independent, Serbian Autocephaly was located in Žiča.

The main monastery’s church is devoted to the Holy Ascension. The church along with the whole monastery belongs to the Raška architectural style and has red facades. A popular legend says that for every king crowned here a new entrance to the monastery was opened. A king passed through the entrance and it would be immediately walled up. Frescoes of the monastery belong to Byzantine school and were made in the beginning of the 13th century during so-called Golden epoch of Serbian art. Architecture and riches of Žiča monastery are the reason why it was included into the „Rout of culture Transromanica“ – rout that binds European heritage of the Romanesque period.