Kuveždin Monastery

Kuveždin Monastery

Kuveždin Monastery, with the church dedicated to Saint Sava belongs to the only three existing churches in the world dedicated to Saint Sava of Serbia. Monastery of Kuvezdin is positioned on the southwestern part of Fruška Gora Mountain, 1 km north of the village of Divoš, on the road connecting Beočin and Erdevik. Late 17th-century tradition has it that Kuveždin Monastery was founded in 1520 by military commander and the last Serbian Despot Stefan Štiljanović. Turks destroyed the Kuvezdin Monastery in 1688 when it remained in pitiful conditions.

In the 17th century, monks from the demolished monasteries of Vinča and Slanci (near Belgrade) on the run from the Turks found refugee in the Kuveždin Monastery, bringing with them a variety of church  treasures and manuscripts. In the first half of the 19th century, a three-store Baroque steeple and three-sided monastic residential buildings “konaci” were built in Kuvezdin Monastery. The latter got elements of a Classical architectural style, while the old two-domed monastery church was replaced with a new structure. The iconostasis of the old-original church of Kuveždin Monastery was painted by Janko Halkozović in 1722, and the iconostasis for the new church was completed by Pavle Simić in the mid-19th century. The Baroque chapel in the Kuvezdin monastic graveyard was built in 1788 on the top of the hill above the monastery where are buried numerous Russian nuns who served here.

The Kuveždin Monastery was originally male monastic community to become a nunnery just before the Second World War. At that time, the Kuveždin Monastery was in terms of the number of nuns one of the largest Serbian monasteries. There were numerous nuns from Russia who in 1923 found their sanctuary in Kuvezdin Monastery after they forcibly left Russia due to the October Revolution. The first Abbess was Melanija Krivokucin, with her assistant Angelina Grachova who succeeded her in the monastic duty. In the Second World War in 1942 the Kuveždin Monastery was heavily damaged by Croat Ustasha and in 1944 completely destroyed, plundered and set aflame by Croat Ustashas and Germans. After the WWII Kuvezdin Monastery was abandoned, with only the monastery chapel that remained which now houses the preserved portions of the iconostasis keeping the famous icon of the Shroud of the Holy Virgin. In recent years Kuveždin Monastery experiences comprehensive reconstruction and monastic community has been re-established. The Kuvezdin Monastery celebrates on the 19th-6th August the Transfiguration slava – feast.

Close to the Topciderska zvezda point in the Belgrade part of Senjak of the pre-war Belgrade in 1937 was constructed the Monastery dedicated to the Entrance of the Holy Virgin to the Temple as the metochion of the Kuvezdin Monastery. The Legend has it that erection of the church in Senjak is connected with the dream of ktetor  Persida Milenković who three times had vision in the dreams that the monastery should be constructed right in this place. Persida Milenković is buried in the crypt in the southwestern area of the central part of the church, and on frescoes she is depicted as founder carrying in the hand a model of church and presenting it to the Holy Virgin. Persida Milenković was ktetor of numerous endowments, among which is the building of the present Mathematics Gymnasium, and she left her house with large estate in Dedinje to the Red Cross. Here are buried numerous high dignitaries of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the later bishops.