Do you know why Kosovo is “Serbian Jerusalem” (1)?

“Religious monuments listed as world heritage were exposed to the destructive Albanian nationalism even before 1999 conflict. Residential facility in Patriarchate of Peć was set on fire, while other monuments were repeatedly plundered and desecrated during the 80’s of the 20th century. The church Our Lady of Lyevish in Prizren that is under UNESCO protection, was looted and damaged in 1999, while the parish hall building was torched to the ground. Аfter the 1999 deployment of respective international presences in Kosovo and Metohija, 141 of Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries were completely or significantly damaged.
Only during the violence in March 2004, thirtyfive religious sites of the Serbian Orthodox Church were demolished and destroyed. The Visoki Decani monastery from the 14th century, which is also under UNESCO protection, is the most frequently attacked Christian religious site in Kosovo and Metohija. Monastery suffered four armed attacks in 1999, two mortar attacks in 2000, another mortar attack during riots in March 2004, and finally grenade launcher attack in 2007. In October 2014, buildings within the monastery property were painted with graffiti “ISIS”, “Caliphate is coming”, “UCK”, Albanian National Army. For two decades already incidents based on hatred have been jeopardizing the collective dimension of freedom of religion in Kosovo and Metohija. Breaking and looting of churches, writing graffiti, harassment of monks, usurpation of church property, illegal construction on church land and desecration of Orthodox cemeteries are still occurring on a daily basis in Kosovo and Metohija. Serious problem is repeated obstruction of celebration of Christian holidays. It became practice that radical movement “Self-determination” prevents celebration of Christmas, Easter, traditional Serbian annual pilgrimage on St. Vitus Day, memorial services and All Souls’ Day. Only in the first 6 months of 2015, there have been 9 incidents involving “UCK” and “ISIS” graffiti, looting of churches, destruction of orthodox cemeteries and even desecration of the monument to the children killed in Serbian enclave of Gorazdevac. Let me e mphasize that none of mentioned criminal acts have been either prosecuted or penalized so far.” – Source: http://www.osce.org/odihr/187336?download=true

World Heritage List

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.

Image Name Location Type (criteria) Description Date Number
All of the sites are Cultural Heritage.
Dečani3.jpg Medieval Monuments in Kosovo

Dečani Monastery

Peć II, III, IV The four edifices of the site reflect the high points of the Byzantine-Romanesque ecclesiastical culture, with its distinct style of wall painting, which developed in the Balkans between the 13th and 17th centuries. The Dečani Monastery was built in the mid-14th century for the Serbian king Stefan Dečanski and is also his mausoleum. The Patriarchate of Peć Monastery is a group of four domed churches featuring series of wall paintings. The 13th-century frescoes of the Church of Holy Apostles are painted in a unique, monumental style. Early 14th-century frescoes in the church of the Holy Virgin of Ljevisa represent the appearance of the new so-called Palaiologian Renaissance style, combining the influences of the eastern Orthodox Byzantine and the Western Romanesque traditions. The style played a decisive role in subsequent Balkan art.

(Part of World Heritage in Danger – cause: “Lack of legal protection and management, political instability and security”.[1]

2004 724
Patriarchate of Peć 2010.JPG Medieval Monuments in Kosovo

Patriarchate of Peć Monastery

Our Lady of Ljeviš, Prizren, 2010. View from clock tower.jpg Medieval Monuments in Kosovo

Our Lady of Ljeviš

Gracanica1.jpg Medieval Monuments in Kosovo

Gračanica Monastery


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_Sites_in_Serbia

Churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija

Beside the living monasteries or those which had been active prior to the war and were destroyed by Albanian militants there are monasteries which are in ruins since the Ottoman times. Some of them have been excavated and explored by archeologists but many of them still remain unrecovered and are known by records in the church and historical chronicles.

Historians assume that the number of Serb Orthodox churches and monasteries of all categories is around 1400 which is a remarkable number for a relatively small territory.

The monasteries of Raska and Prizren Diocese can be divided into 5 categories:

1. Active Monasteries:

Patriarchate of Pecstauropegic monastery and does not belong administratively to our Diocese. It has nevertheless very strong ties with our other monasteries of the Kosovo and Metohija region.
Budisavci Metochion

1. Visoki Decani (m)
2. Sopocani (m)
3. Gracanica (f)
4. Crna Reka (m)
5. Holy Archangels (m)
6. Devic (f)
7. Sokolica (f)
8. Gorioc (f)
9. Draganac (m)
10. Koncul (f)
11. Duboki Potok (m)
12. Djurdjevi Stupovi (m)

2. Planned for full reconstruction:

1. Banjska monastery

The church has been partially reconstructed – building of the monastery is planned for future

2. Vracevo Monastery near Lesak
3. St. Barbara Monastery, near Sopocani

3. Monasteries which were active before the war and were destroyed in 1999

1. Holy Trinity (f)
2. St. Cosmas and Damian, Zociste (m)
3. Binac (m)
4. St. Marko (m)

4. Monasteries in ruins before the war which were partially reconstructed or conserved after the WWII.

1. Bogorodica Hvostanska
2. Ubozac Monastery
3. Kmetovce Monastery
4. Korisa Monastery
5. Dolac (church destroyed in 1999)
6. St. Uros Monastery (church destroyed in 1999)
7. Ajnovci Monastery

5. Unexcavated monasteries:

Dozens of other monasteries remain in ruins which have not been excavated or explored and are known only by record in historical documents.


 The name Metohija was derived from the word “metoh”. Metoh is land which is property of Serbian Orthodox monastery.  Since 1999. about 150 orthodox churches and monasteries on  Kosovo were destroyed, damaged and burned. At the same time, Albanians built over 400 mosques.

Text prepared by FBReporter
Source: http://www.kosovo.net/mones.html

3 comments on “Do you know why Kosovo is “Serbian Jerusalem” (1)?

  1. Thank you for this overview. It would be even more explanatory and have more weight if you add which monasteries are on UnEsco’s list and how these holy places are protected today.

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