Krka Monastery is located three and a half kilometers east of Kistanje. It is named after the river Krka in whose canyon it is located. The pearl of Orthodox Dalmatia, the monastery of Krka, was built by the Serbian princess Jelena, the sister of Emperor Dušan, married to the Bribir prince Mladen III Šubić. The monastery dates from the 14th century and is believed to have been built in 1350. It is dedicated to the Holy Archangel Michael.

According to the claims of the old historian Lucius, the monastery was built on the place where the apostle Paul preached. Fifty years later, in 1402, the monastery was extended, which is confirmed by the inscription above the door.

From the time of its founding until our time, the Krka Monastery has been and remains the spiritual center of Orthodox Serbs in Dalmatia and beyond.

With the blessing of Patriarch Paisius Janjevac and Bishop Theodore of Dabro-Bosnia, a theological school was founded at the monastery in 1615, which operated until 1647, when students and teachers had to flee under the Turkish invasion. The monastery fraternity returned to Krka in 1650, and the seminary was reopened in 1964.

During the centuries of existence, treasures from all Serbian regions, but also from Jerusalem, the Holy Mountain, Venice, and tsarist Russia, flowed into the monastery treasury. It is important to mention the epitaph of Saint Sava and Oktoih Božidar Vuković. There are also books by Vuk Karadzic and Dositej Obradovic, on which they wrote their dedications to the monastery. Also, there is a paterik from 1346, called “Bulgarian”, on the cover of which is written “Shining Book of the Vilendar Monastery”. The fragments of several relics of Saint Trifun, Saint Nicholas, Saint Antipas, Saint Charalampius, Saint Vlasius and others are kept in the monastery church.

During the centuries of existence, treasures from all Serbian regions, but also from Jerusalem, the Holy Mountain, Venice, and tsarist Russia, flowed into the monastery treasury. It is important to mention the epitaph of Saint Sava and Oktoih Božidar Vuković. There are also books by Vuk Karadzic and Dositej Obradovic, on which they wrote their dedications to the monastery. Also, there is a paterik from 1346, called “Bulgarian”, on the cover of which is written “Shining Book of the Vilendar Monastery”. The fragments of several relics of Saint Trifun, Saint Nicholas, Saint Antipas, Saint Charalampius, Saint Vlasius and others are kept in the monastery church.

The monastery was often visited by many famous Serbs, or they were in strong contact with it. Along with Dositej Obradović and Gerasim Zelić, they were Simo Matavulj, Nikola Tesla, Mirko Korolija, Miloš Crnjanski, Vlada Desnica and others. At the end of the 20th century, there was also an art colony in the monastery, where many artists left their creative mark.

During the last war in 1991 -1995. ie. immediately after its completion, the monastery was looted. He was abandoned from 1995 to 1998. The seminary that existed with him was moved first to Divčibare, and then to Foča. It was renovated in 2001 by the efforts of the Bishop of Dalmatia, Photius.

Let us not forget that in 1998, the young monk Gerasim came to the deserted monastery of Krk first, and then Father Dositej, as well as Father Mihailo, who made the monastery again the spiritual center of Orthodox Dalmatia, which it always was.

Literature:

  1. Serbian Orthodox Church, Diocese of Dalmatia, diocese-dalmatinska.hr

Photo:

1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Manastir_Krka_DSC07504.JPG

Beat Estermann / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

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