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Serb Christian Orthodox Devič monastery near Srbica in Drenica valley

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Devič monastery — Drenica (south of Srbica) — the Church of the Presentation of the Holy Virgin was built around the year 1434 by Despot Djuradj Brankovic in memory of his virgin (“devica”) daughter, after whom the monastery was named, and her recovery from an illness. It was built on the original site where St Joannicius’s, the first founder, small church once stood. The monastery was restored on several occasions and consisted of a number of churches dedicated to the Presentation of the Holy Virgin, St Joannicius and St George.

There were four churches in the monastery, together with the konaks (residential quarters), which were looted, desecrated, mined and destroyed by the Albanians Nazis in 1941 when the Italians occupied Kosovo. The monastery used to have a rich collection of manuscripts and printed books. There was also a scriptorium within the monastery complex. The entire Devic book collection, comprising of ancient as well as the 19th and 20th century books, and the iconostasis with icons, were lost in a fire. At the same time the recluse of St Joannicius of Devic, on the hill north of the monastery, was wrecked as was the spring in a ravine below the monastery.

The frescoes dated from the 15th century. Beside the portrait of St Joannicius of Devič, clad in a senior monk’s robes and bearing a retained inscription which indicates that he was “the first founder of the place”, preserved were also an image of St Akakios and the compositions of The wedding in Kana Galilee and The healing of the Infirm. There was also another layer of frescoes from the 15th century, as well as one from the 19th century. The monastery owned the lands in Lausa, Ludovic, Lepina in Kosovo, Bica in Metohia, a vineyard in Velika Hoca, a number of houses and shops in Vucitrn, watermills, residential quarters, a bakery, a dairy… 60 hectares of arable land and 250 hectares of forest in total.

Immediately after the retreat of the Serbian security forces from Kosovo and the arrival of the French KFOR troops, the monastery was attacked and occupied by Albanian extremists belonging to the KLA (UÇK). For three days they systematically robbed, desecrated and devastated this sacred place. The nuns and their spiritual father (Fr. Seraphim) were maltreated and some of them were injured.

Source: http://nokosovounesco.com/portfolio/devic-monastery-near-srbica/

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Categories: Christianity, Europe, Serbs

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