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OVCAR – KABLAR GORGE

15 April 2009 No Comment

ovcarsko-kablarska-lisuraOvcar-Kablar gorge, a Serbian Athos, is located in the central part of Serbia, only 25 kilometres away from  “Vajati”, and it is protected by the state. Natural beauties of this area and richness of cultural and historical monuments make it very attractive for the visitors. Meandering of the river Western Morava, endless greenness of the surrounding woods, monasteries and artificial lakes are tourist attractions of this area.

There are 12 monasteries in this gorge. On the left side of the Western Morava, under Kablar mountain, there are the following monasteries: Blagovestenje (Annunciation), Ilinje, Jovanje, Nikolje i Uspenje (Assumption), and under Ovcar mountain there are: Vavedenje, Vaznesenje, Preobrazenje (Transfiguration), Svete Trojice (the Holly Trinity) and Sretenje.

Ilinje is the only monastery which was not renewed, and other monasteries live a real orthodox life – full of the prayers of the monks, and they are the pilgrimage places for visits of both believers and tourists.

Besides the monasteries, in this area there are two more sanctuaries: the church of Saint Sava and the cave Kadjenica, which are both unique memorial places.

manstir-blagovestenjeMONASTERY OF BLAGOVESTENJE:
The monastery of Blagovestenje, together with the church of the Annunciation of the Holly Mother of God, dates from the 17th century. It is located on the left bank of the river Morava, under Kablar mountain, in Ovcar Banja.
The church is of a very interesting architecture – it is a single-nave building of Raska type, onto which a wooden corridor was additionaly built later. The painitngs were painted from 1602 until 1632, and they are among the best artistic works in the Serbian wall painting in the first half of the 17th century.
Out of the old rood screen, the main icon of the Mother of God was preserved, with Christ, which were painted by a painter called Mitrofon in 1602.

manstir-ilinjeILINJE MONASTERY:
It is located in the vicinity of Ovcar Banja, above the Blagovestenje monastery.

The church itself is not very big. It is surrounded by a thich conifer wood, and was erected in 1938 on the foundations of an old monastery.

The renewal of this monastery was started by Saint  Nikolaj Velimirovic. The Ilinje monastery celebrates the Ilindan Day (August 2nd). On that day big assemblies take place near the Ilinje monastery, and in Ovcar Banja, too.

manastir-jovanjeJOVANJE MONASTERY:
It is dedicated to the birth of Saint John the Baptist.  It is located on the left bank of the river Western Morava. It was mentioned for the first time in 1536. Due to the building of the hydroelectric power station in 1959, the old monastery was destroyed and moved onto its present location.
Due to the special importance of this monastery, but also due to the hospitality of its nuns, this monastery is visited by many believers all the time during the year.

manastir-nikoljeNIKOLJE MONASTERY:
The Nikolje monastery, with the church called Saint Nikolje, is located on the bank of the river Western Morava, under Kablar mountain. Nikolje was mentioned for the first time in 1489, so it is supposed that it could be the oldest Ovcar-Kablar monastery.

According to the tradition, the monastery was built by the monks who were forced to move back because of the  Cathalonian intruders, or after the battle on the river Marica. Parvis was painted in 1637, and the rest in 1697.

In the monastery, a great number of handwritten books was preserved. Nearby the Morava river, there is also a accomodation place built by the duke Milos Obrenovic.

manastir-uspenjeUSPENJE MONASTERY:
It was built on the left bank of the Western Morava in 1939, on the northern slopes of Kablar mountain. The present church was built on the foundations of the old monastery.

Nearby the present monastery, on the hill above the Jovanje monastery, there is a place called Kulina with the remnants of the square-shaped tower and with one building of rectangular foundation leaned agains the rock.
The monastery was renewed and dedicated on September 23, 2001.

manastir-vavedenjeVAVEDENJE MONASTERY:
The Vavedenje monastery, together with the church Vavedenje of the Holly Mother of God, is located on the right bank of the river Western Morava.

Accoridng to the legend, this monastery was built by  Simeon Nemanja and his son, Saint Sava. It was mentioned for the first time in 1452, and it was renewed in 1797.

In the monastery, there are rare books among which there is also the Belgrade Quadrigospel, printed in 1552.

manastir-vaznesenjeVAZNESENJE MONASTERY:
It was built at the end of the 12th century. The founder of this monastery was Stefan Stracimir, brother of Stefan Nemanja. It was mentioned for the first time in written documents between 1207-1215. In its  treasury there are valuable religious objects which have a great historical and artistic value.
The church and the accomodation places were renewed in 1997 on their old foundations. In a new church there are two marble rosettes, adorned with plant ornaments, as well as the Quadrigospel, which was rewritten in this monastery in 1570.

manastir-preobrazenjePREOBRAZENJE MONASTERY:
The old monastery called Transfiguration of the God was located on the left bank of the river Western Morava. It was mentioned for the first time between 1528 and 1530. However, it was destroyed in 1911 because of the building of a railway, and the present monastery is located, unlike the old one, on the right bank of the river Western Morava.

The present monastery Preobrazenje was built in 1938 and it is located on the right bank of the river Western Morava. After the blessing of bishop Nikolaj, the life in this monastery was organized on a stirct principle, which means that it has neither a parish nor property, but it has a missionary role.

manastir-svete-trojiceSVETE TROJICE MONASTERY: In the middle of the wildreness, in a peaceful atmosphere which is necessary for deep and constant prayers, on the slopes of Ovcar mountain, there is a monastery called the Holly Trinity (Svete Trojice). The oldest written record about the monastery dates from 1594/95.
The church is a single-nave building with an obvious influence of the Raska architecture. The architecture of this monastery is the most beautiful of all the monasteries in Ovcar-Kablar gorge.

manastir-sretenjeSRETENJE MONASTERY:
Out of all the monasteries in Ovcar-Kablar gorge, this monastery is located highest above the sea level (600 m). It was mentioned for the first time in 1623 relating to its destruction. It was renewed in 1818.
The temple was painted in 1844 during the time of Uzice’s bishop Nicifor Maksimovic and duke Alexander Karadjordjevic.

In 1845, a wall was built, surrounding the monastery complex.

crkva-svetog-saveA CHURCH DEDICATED TO SAINT SAVA:
Under the old slopes of Kablar mountain, underneath a rock in a small recess of a stone, there is a water spring which forms a small reservoir of 2 to 3 litres in volume That water is still and does not flow any further. The water is always there although people take it in big quantities. This water is called  “the water of Saint Sava” and it is believed that it is a miraculous water.

Nearby the spring, in 1938, a small church dedicated to Saint Sava was built.

pecina-kadjenicaA CAVE CALLED KADJENICA:
It was named after a tragic event during the time of Hadzi Prodan’s rebellion. Namely, people fled into this cave, but the Turks found it, covered its entrance with straw and branches, and they burnt it, so that people in the cave suffocated.

In 1940, the bones were collected and buried in the same cave, in two stone sarchophaggies in the altar, in which a Christ’s crucifixion was made.

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