Klisura Monastery

Klisura Monastery

Klisura Monastery is located in Dobrača village, beside the road connecting Arilje and Ivanjica, /16 km south of Arilje/, between rocky terrains of mountains and the canyon of Moravica River /klisura/ after whom it got its name. Klisura Monastery is dedicated to SS Archangels Michael and Gabriel and was known by the name Dobrača Monastery in the past. The legend has it that the monastery of Dobrača was founded by good man /dobar čovek/ who was servant of Nemanjic Dynasty.

The most important object within the Klisura monastic complex is the relatively small Church of Saint Archangels. The Klisura Monastery church was built in the 13th century in Raska School of architecture by the pattern of nearby Church of Saint Achilles in Arilje. At the end of the 17th century, the church was probably burnt in 1688, and after the Great Migration of Serbs, in 1690 it was abandoned. The monastic church was restored in 1798, while the Austria-Hungarian forces several times attacked and demolished it, in 1915 and 1916 during the First WW. The next destruction happened during the Second WW when the Bulgarian forces set the church on fire and demolished the part of the monastic estate. The present day Church of Klisura Monastery features the free-cross basis with the highly elevated eight-sided dome and the narthex to the west, which is slightly narrower than the central part /the naos/ and the wooden porch before the narthex /added in the 18th century/. Rectangular chapels are on both northern and southern sides of the semicircular apse. The wooden belfry sits some 10 meters away from the church. Its structure is similar to the Church of St. Achilles and the Church of Pridvorica Monastery and Moraca and St. Trinity Monasteries. Klisura Monastery Church was built of limestone and was fresco decorated. Besides the patrons of the temple depictions and figures of Serbian saints and rulers, there are fresco depictions of various historical persons significant for the Serbian history and epic tradition. Precious icons are work of art of icon-painters Simeon Lazovic and Dimitrije Posnikovic. Here are also rare Russian icons kept. The portal itself is unique woodcarving work of art.

The monastic complex of Klisura Monastery consists of the Church, the belfry, the dormitories, the Winter Chapel and economic buildings. During the Medieval period Klisura Monastery was connected with Arilje where in the 18th century there was the Episcopal seat /established by St. Sava/. Klisura Monastery was destroyed in the fire in 1688 to be deserted in 1690 after the Great Serbian Migration led by the Bishop Arsenius the Third. Klisura Monastery remained in ruins for a century to have been restored in 1798. Since 1961 Klisura Monastery is nunnery. Klisura Monastery has great cultural, historical and architectural importance of the artistic and monumental value bearing witness the artistic works and cultural issues of the South-western Serbia. The Patron Saint of Klisura Monastery /slava/ is celebrated every year that gathers many guests from area of Moravica, Arilje and Dragacevo.

 

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