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Friday, June 25, 2010

Visoki Decani Monastery

Visoki Decani Monastery is a major Serb Orthodox Christian monastery located in Kosovo which is 12 km or 7 mi south of the town of Pec. The monastic catholicon is the largest medieval church in the Balkans containing the most extensive preserved fresco decoration. The details of Visoki Decani are explained in world tour guides below.

Visoki Decani MonasteryThe monastery was established in a chestnut grove by Serbian King Stefan Uros III Decanski in 1327. Its original founding charter is dated to 1330. The following year the king died and was buried at the monastery, which henceforth became his popular shrine. Indeed, the epithet Decanski refers to the king's foundation of the monastery. The construction was continued by his son Emperor Stefan Uros IV Dusan until 1335, but the wall-painting was not completed until 1350.

Visoki Decani MonasteryThe monastic church dedicated to Christ Pantocrator and built from blocks of red-purple, light-yellow and onyx marble was constructed by builders working under a Franciscan monk, Vitus of Kotor. The church is distinguished by its imposing size and Romanesque and Early Gothic structure and design. Apart from the extensive and well preserved fresco cycles the interior features the original 14th-century stone templon, the throne of the hegumen and the carved wooden sarcophagus of the founder King Stefan.

On the Crucifixion fresco, painted in 1350, objects similar to UFOs can be found. They represent two comets that looks like space ships, with two men inside of them, and are often quoted by Ufologists.

Visoki Decani was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1990, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia. In 2004, UNESCO listed the monastery on the World Heritage List, citing its frescoes as one of the most valued examples of the so-called Palaeologan renaissance in Byzantine painting and a valuable record of the life in the 14th century. In 2006, it was added to the List of World Heritage Sites in danger due to the potential for attacks by ethnic Albanian partisans it is protected by the United Nations KFOR.

On 30 March 2007 an explosion was heard near the monastery. The explosion was confirmed by Serbian and international sources in Kosovo. Bishop Teodosije, the prior of the Visoki Decani monastery, stated that the incident was a grenade attack on the monastery, with an objective of sending threatening messages to the monks and KFOR forces.

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