Ljubostinja Monastery is located five kilometers north of Trstenik. It is the endowment of Princess Milica, the wife of Prince Lazar. It was built at the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century. Princess Milica became a monk in this monastery, taking the name Evgenija. Her tomb is still in the monastery today. The main monastery church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God.

Like most Serbian monasteries, the Ljubostinja monastery had a turbulent history. During the great Austrian-Turkish war and Kočina Krajina, the brotherhood of the monastery stood out in the fights against the Turks, and Koča Arandjelović himself was staying in the monastery at that time. Also, an uprising against the Turks was started from the monastery of Ljubostinja. Because of that, the Turks set fire to the monastery in 1788.

When the Turks set fire to the monastery, almost all the frescoes were destroyed. Unfortunately, on that occasion, the Turks found behind one of the icons, in the wall, a treasury, in which Princess Milica hid church relics, and the crown of Prince Lazar. The crown was taken away by the Turks and is kept in Istanbul today.

In the 19th century, the monastery was renovated, and in 1822 the iconostasis was renovated. At the beginning of the 20th century, a new reconstruction was done, which was performed rather unprofessionally, so that the original appearance of the monastery was almost destroyed.

The monastery was built in the Moravian style. The base of the monastery is triconch, and above the base rises a dome, which rests on four pillars. The facade of the monastery is especially interesting. It is decorated with rich interweaving, and there are also rosettes in the upper parts of the facade, as well as shallowly cut decorative niches.

Today’s frescoes are of more recent date, and a small part of the original ones has been preserved. The iconostasis is from 1822. Remains of works from 1455, which are considered to have been ordered by Princess Milica, can still be seen in the tambour of the main dome.

In the time of Princess Milica and her friend the nun Jefimija, the monastery had a highly developed transcription school. Then, the nun Jefimija embroidered “Praise to Prince Lazar” with gold on silk, a masterpiece of Serbian literature, as a cover for his coffin.

Literature:

Ljubostinja Monastery, Serbian Orthodox Church, Parish of St. Dimitrije Solunski, svetidimitrije.no

Ljubostinja Monastery, Monasteries in Serbia, manastiriusrbiji.com

Photo:

1. Ljubostinja, Medieval masterpiece, https://avanturista.co/blog/srednjevekovno-remek-delo-ljubostinja/

2. Milena Zindović, https://avanturista.co/blog/srednjevekovno-remek-delo-ljubostinja/