More then 800 years separate us from the building of the most beautiful and splendid architectural monument of medieval Serbia – the church of Virgin., the central church of Studenica Monastery. It was founded by Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja (1113-1199)., who united the medieval Serbian state. A descendant of an old ruling family, nemanja, although the youngest son, became the ruler of the region of Ras, annexed Zeta( modern Monte Negro) and libertated the other parts of Serbia in a serious of successful campaigns, thus creating a powerful and prosperous state, which was governed for almost two centuries by his descendants, called the Nemanjics after the foundar of the line. Studenica has retained the status of the leading Serbian monastery to the present day.
The church, Nemanja’s most important foundation, served also as the mausoleum of the dinasty during the first decades of Nemanjic rule. The relics of King Stefan, the First-Crowned are still kept in the monastery as a most sacred treasure.
The fall of the Serbian state(1459) ended the briliant period of the history of Studenica, which shared the fate of the other Serbian monasteries. Much of Studenica was destroyed in the early onslaughts of the Turkish army. In the first decades of the 17th century, further misfortunes befell Studenica – a great earthquake caused considerable damage to the Church of the Virgin, and a fire destroyed many ancient monastery charters.
Studenica Monastery lies close to the pictoresque Ibar valley, 11 km from the settlement of Usce(Ušce) of the main Ibar road. From that point a contry road winds upward through superb mountain landscapes with coniferous forests and flowery meadows beside the clear, swift-flowing river Studenica, which joins the Ibar and Usce.
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