Bukovo Monastery

Bukovo Monastery

Bukovo Monastery in East Serbia is dedicated to Saint Nicholas – Father Nikolai the Miracle-Worker. Bukovo Monastery is located 4 km west of Negotin, on the main road Zajecar – Negotin, positioned on the gentle slopes of the Bratujevac Hill fully covered with vast vineyards and forests. Tradition has it that the name of Bukovo Monastery comes from the surrounding “Beech Forest” or the bird “Buk” that used to live here in the former marshes that were dried and turned into vineyards.

There are no written records about the founder of the Bukovo Monastery, but many traditional legends exist about its history. One of them “proof” Bukovo Monastery is the endowment of the Serbian King Milutin erected at the end of the 13th century and built after the victory over the Bulgarian Emperor Sisman. The next legend says that the founder of the Bukovo monastery was Saint Nikodim Tismanski who lived in Timocka Krajina and had built several churches during the 15th century. The last legend says that the founder of the Bukovo monastery was someone of the Serbian aristocracy of East Serbia of the 15th century.
Throughout its history Bukovo Monastery was destroyed several times, always to be successfully rebuilt. Knez Milos /Prince Milos/ Obrenovic donated the bell to the Bukovo Monastery after the restoration carried out in 1837. The Prince Milos also built two dormitories in 1839. Narthex of Bukovo Monastery was added in 1877. At the very beginning of the Second World War in 1940 the square bell tower which is an integral part of the entrance to the Bukovo monastery complex was built on the northern side above the entrance. In the courtyard of Bukovo Monastery there is the miracle life-giving spring dedicated to the Holy Mother of God. In addition to this, there is the Chapel besides the southern dormitory dedicated to the same saint.

Bukovo Monastery features an one-nave church with a basis in the form of the cross. Church of the Bukovo Monastery is 18.80 m long, 8.55 m wide and 6.90 meters high. It was built of stone with the choir apse and the narthex which was later added. Bukovo Monastery represents one of the special form of the Morava school of architecture. During its existence, the appearance of the Bukovo Church has not been changed significantly.

The Bukovo Monastery church interior was painted. There are two layers of frescoes, one of which is the oldest class represented by the frescoes of the Holy Archangel Michael, fragments of the Holy Warriors in the northern choir and frescoes of the Holy Virgin, surrounded by angels on the vault of the church. The frescoes of Bukovo Monastery date from 1682 and the time of Abbot Mihail Dečanac done by assistance of Prince Simeun from village of Trnjani. Paintings that exist today and cover the largest part of the Bukovo Monastery Church date from 1902. It is the art work of the painter Milisav Markovic from Mali Izvor village. He has already proved himself by painting the church of Suvodol Monastery in 1892. Markovic painted the Bukovo church interior by the designs of artist and icon-painter Steve Todorovic from Belgrade who succeeded the iconostasis in Zaječar Church. Woodcarved and gold-plated iconostasis made in Austria date from the end of the 19th century. Icon painted by the famous icon painter of his time, Lazar Krdžalić who completed the medallion on the narthex of the Bukovo monastery church. Part of the icons were painted by Paul Čortanović, teacher of drawing in Negotin High School. Icons of the old iconostasis are exposed in the Bukovo Monastery Library. Famous Serbian writer Svetolik Rankovic wrote his novel “Broken ideals” while he resided in Bukovo Monastery.

The Wine cellar of the Agricultural School of Negotin in Bukovo was established from 1892 to 1895. The wine sort of crna tamjanika – black tamyanika made the Bukovo famous and aimed to beat its quality, by diligent dedication of students, their knowledge and committed approach of experts, who respect the tradition of wine growing, are elements which contribute to the wine of extraordinary quality. The crna tamyanika – black tamyanika is specific ancient muscat wine sort, very rare in the world, found and grown only in Serbia, Italy and Portugal. This sort if pretty hard for growing, because of blossoming problem, but this sort provides unique wine of unrepeatable flavor and aroma which feature flowery, fruity and spicy flavors, of rose, raisins and basil. Besides the crna tamyanika – black tamyanika wine, the Rose and the White Burgundy and the Rhine Riesling are produced at Bukovo Monastery under the brand of Filigran – filigree.

The Filigran Game wine is produced from the grape variety of the same name – original French name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc, which would be translated as “black game of white juice”. The Filigran Game wine features pleasant aroma, it is complete and light when sampled. The game grape variety is mostly grown in France in the area of Beaujolais, where from comes the most famous young wine of the same name. The Beaujolais is not constant wine, but it is of high quality and produced from the whole black grape raisins. Like it is proclaimed by law, every year exactly at midnight on the third Thursday of November the Beaujolais wine is officially sent in the market, when starts the race of its delivery quickest possible around the world. Visitors of the Bukovo Monastery have unique privilege and are welcome to visit the lovely wine cellar and taste delicious wines of Krajina wine region produced here by highly dedicated monks.