Kovilj Monastery

Kovilj Monastery

“This Monastery is founded at the place of reconciliation of Hungarian and Serbian armies by the mediation of Saint Sava, former Prince Rastko Nemanjic, son of the Serbian ruler and founder of the Serbian medieval state Stefan Nemanja and brother of Stefan Prvovencani, the Serbian king. One church was built on the place where the peace was obtained and afterwards the large monastery complex was built.”

The Kovilj Monastery is a the Serbian Orthodox Monastery situated in Backa region, in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina. Monastery is situated near the village of Kovilj in Novi Sad Municipality. According to the legend, the monastery of Kovilj was founded by the first Serb archbishop Saint Sava in the 13th century and dedicated to Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The modern history claims that the Kovilj Monastery was built at the end of the 15th century or at the beginning of the 16th century. Before Karlovac Peace Treaty in 1699, Kovilj Monastery has been attacked several times by Turks and set to flame. Kovilj Monastery was often rebuilt during its hisotory, when in some reconstruction it was covered with the roof and dormitory was added. Because of Turkish invasion and persecution, the monks of Kovilj Monastery had to flee to the nearby forests and marshes. Kovilj Monastery of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel was reconstructed in 1705-1707 during the Spiridon Bishop when the high belfry was built. The new spacious and large church of the Kovilj Monastery has been built in Baroque style from 1741 until 1749 during the era of Visarion Pavlovic the Bishop of Backa District Episcopate. Again Kovilj Monastery was demolished and set aflame in 1849. The main church of the Kovilj Monastery was so badly destroyed so the new church had to be built surviving until the present time. The new dormitories have been built at that time.
Today Kovilj Monastery is one of the largest among sacral places in Vojvodina. Kovilj Monastery Church is built of stone in Rashka school of architecture with Baroque elements. Kovilj Monastery church features combination of three-nave basilica and the trefoil base. The central nave of the Monastery church is divided by eight large pillars into three parts. On the top of the central part of the church are two domes, circle from inside and the eight-sided dome outward, while there is a smaller cupola over the altar space. Large arches cover the central part of the Kovilj Monastery church which is unusual for churches built in that period. The facade has been built of the stone from Fruska Gora Mt and adorned with row of blind arcades on consoles. The existing iconostasis of Kovilj Monastery was completed with elements of Italian Renaissance style in 1849 instead of the former one from the 1707, which was burnt in fire. The rich Kovilj Monastery Treasury was heavily destroyed during the Second World War. The Chapels dedicated to Saints of Petka and the Atos Holy Mountain belong to the Kovilj Monastery complex. The refectory next to the church of the Holy archangels Michael and Gabriel in Kovilj includes a tiny memorial museum dedicated to Jovan Rajić, the archimandrite and the first historian on the history of the Seerbs, the Croats and the Bulgarians.

Kovilj Monastery is run by number of highly educated monks that take particular care of this holy place, besides their dedication to prayers and regular obligations, and also produce monastic products that are highly prized – the monastir honey, various fruit and nut brandies….

 

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