Duljevo Monastery

The Duljevo Monastery is dedicated to Saint Archdeacon Stephen the First-Martyr and belongs to the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral – the largest Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in modern Montenegro. The Duljevo Monastery is located in the Kuljace village of the Pastrovici area, north-east of the Praskvica Monastery, at the foot of the Goli Vrh Mountain, in wonderful and picturesque area of the plateau of 470 meters which features fresh mountain air and scent of aromatic herbs. Nearby to the Duljevo Monastery there is the healing Savina voda spring which is by tradition connected with Saint Sava Nemanjic, likewise the old oak tree that is believed to have been used by the saint for rest. There is also local tradition that the army of Tsar Dusan had recovered from Typhoid fever after taking curative water from the Savina voda spring, so the tsar added the narthex to the church of Saint Stephen in gratitude to God for this event. The road from the Praskvica Monastery to the Duljevo Monastery and further along the Pastrovska Gora Mountain was built by the Russian Yegor Stroganov at the end of th 18th and beginning of the 19th century. The Duljevo Monastery can be accessed on foot in an hour from the center of Budva or by car taking off from the regular road Petrovac-Budva in Przno, from where there is some 4 km to reach it.

The Duljevo Monastery was erected in the 14th century during the reign of the Tsar Dusan, and it was considered the metochian of the Visoki Decani Monastery, likewise the nearby Gradiste Monastery. The Duljevo Monastery is first time mentioned in archives from 1677 when the lords of the Pastrovici area elected the new abbot of the monastery. The monastic complex of Duljevo Monastery contains the church of Saint Stephen, the Dormitory of Saint Sava, the encircling wall with gates and remains of the former structures where the old village school existed in the past. The Duljevo Monastery church of Saint Stephen is one-nave structure built of ashlar stone, with semi-circle vault and the semi-circle apse on the eastern side, and the bell cote with a single opening. The new part of the church was added much later to receive larger number of faithful people. The interior of the Saint Stephen church is adorned with uniquely valuable examples of fresco painting which dates from the half of the 14th century and features stylistic intertwining of the Gothic and Byzantine elements. Of special interest and preciousness is the fresco in the first zone on the southern wall of the western pilaster with the khtetors-donors depictions of crowned rulers of Saint Stefan of Decani and the Tsar Dusan holding the model of the church which indicates the accuracy of the tradition of the Tsar Dusan as donor of the monastery.  .

Right above the Duljevo Monastery there are two hermitages mentioned in local tradition as ascetic place of prayers of Saint Sava on his last journey to Mount Atos. Still functioning village graveyard is set on the southern side of the Duljevo Monastery.

During its long history the Duljevo Monastery experienced severe destructions and fire demolition as was unfortunate destiny of the other monasteries of the Pastrovacka Gora area. Here at the Duljevo Monastery the Patriarch Arsenius III Carnojevic joined the clergy, likewise numerous members of Pastrovici clan who later continued to serve to God in the Visoki Decani Monastery. The Duljevo Monastery greatly suffered from the Turkish attacks, and in 1785 was heavily destroyed in the campaign of notorious Mahmud-paša Bušatlija. During the First World War it was plundered by the Austrians who took away its bell that used to have recognizable sound. The Duljevo Monastery protosyncellus – deputy of the bishop of the Eparchy – Varnava Bućin (1896-1942) here suffered martyr end during the Second World War. The largest destruction of the Duljevo Monastery occurred in the huge earthquake in 1979 when in ruins original frescoes were discovered….

In 2002 the Duljevo Monastery became nunnery. Visitors of Duljevo Monastery are excited by interesting stories and legends told by nuns, but also by their unique handwork and various natural products. The nuns of Duljevo Monastery are for years engaged in woodcarving, icon painting and embroidery, but also in production of healthy natural products such are soaps for children manufactured from goat milk, pure Propolis, various healing balms, plant oils and healthy herb brandy.