Vratna Monastery

Vratna Monastery

Vratna Monastery lies hidden between the high peaks of Miroc Mountain beside Jabuča River. You can glimpse Vratna Monastery only from its eastern side, approaching it on 200 meters. Monastery is located at the very entrance to the famous Vratna stone gates and is 40 km away from Negotin and about 20 km east of Brza Palanka.

Vratna Monastery was founded in the 14th century by Archbishop Nikodim, the favorite assistant of King Milutin. The part of Vratna Monastery dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord was built in 1415. The Church of the Monastery is 16 meters long and 7,5 meters wide with walls that are 2,5 meters thick. The ceilings of the Vratna Monastery church are rather low and lighted by six tiny windows like gun-wholes while the narthex is lighted by 2 circle windows. The structure of Vratna Monastery itself has no appearance of the time of building due to many reconstructions when several parts of different shapes were added. Most of Vratna Monastery icons come from Russia and special attraction is the Royal Doors dating from the 19th century. In the second part of the 18th century Vratna Monastery was abandoned to be reestablished by Stanko Frajkor, the Duke from Negotin. Turks burnt Vratna Monastery in 1813 after the failure of the First Serbian Uprising. Jon Tajkulica restored Vratna Monastery in 1837. The old Monastery Dormitory in front of the belfry was erected in 1856 by locals from villages of Urovica, Vratna and Jabukovac. Its roof has been recovered recently when the belfry above priprata was added. South from the Church there is the Monastery Dormitory that was built in recent time. Nowadays it is nunnery. Vratna Monastery got its name after huge 30 meters high stone gates /stone bridges/ carved in Jabuca River course that formed them during the hundreds of thousands of years. Actually they are the resemblances of the former cave through which the river used to pass. There are altogether 3 gates : The Great and The Small and the Dry Bridges. Recently the road taking to the Bridges was discontinued by the fence around the Monastery of Vratna so one gets to the First Bridge along the tough 200 meters longer path.

The entire complex of Vratna, its village, bridges and the Monastery is surrounded by rivers and forest representing one of the most significant attractions of Negotin area. On the vast meadows nearby Vratna Monastery there are numerous moufflons /musk oxes/ easily approachable to the vicinity of 50 meters. They are easily visible in the forests while climbing up the steep path from Vratna Monastery up to Miroc Mountain Peaks and to the Stone Bridges of Vratna /Vratnjanske kapije/.

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