Savina Monastery

Savina Monastery is important Serbian Orthodox Monastery situated 2 km east of Herceg-Novi, in the uniquely beautiful environment of the lush Mediterranean vegetation of the Montenegrin Adriatic. The Savina Monastery consists of three churches built gradually in the course of several hundreds years on remains of the old shrine from the period of Nemanjic rule that was destroyed in earthquake in 1667: the small Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin from the 11th century, the large Church dedicated to the Assumption of the Holy Virgin from the second half of the 18th century and the tiny Church dedicated to Saint Sava after whom the Savina complex was named, set on the plateau some 300 meters above the entire Savina monastic complex.

The beautiful large church of the Savina Monastery was built by Dalmatian masters – Nikola Foretic from the Korcula island and his local fellow master George. The main Savina Monastery church makes unique union of the eastern and the western cultural principles and mixture of Romanesque, Gothic, Byzantine and Baroque elements. It is one nave basilica built of white marble from the Korcula island, adorned with the semi circular apse, and the eight-sided dome above the central part. In the left choir of the large Savina Monastery is kept a highly respected miracle icon of the Holy Mother of God, called the Savina Holy Virgin. The large church features solid and large wooden iconostasis, completed at the end of the 18th century.

There are number of relics and reliquaries kept in the Savina Monastery which date from the time of the Nemanide dynasty – the holy relics of Queen Helen, the cross of Saint Sava, including those transferred from the Tvrdoš Monastery in 1693. Turkish-Venetian wars in Herzegovina resulted in destruction of the Tvrdos Monastery in Trebinje as one of the consequences, and in 1693 transfer to the Savina Monastery of its monks who brought here the most precious relics to be kept by the Venetian Republic. Serbs considered the Savina Monastery as the source of their spiritual strength, road sign in sufferings and as a sanctuary before wars and devastation.

The Medieval part of the archives of the Savina Monastery includes three ancient charters : the founding charter of King Uros I on foundation of the church of Saint Nicholas in Hvosno /1276-77/, forged charter of tzar Dusan on Ston income /12 July 1358/ and founding charger of despot Stefan Lazarevic on five villages in Moravice gifted to the Mileseva Monastery /after 1413/. Detailed register of Herzegovina sanjak (No 484) made in 1585, testifies that Herzog Stjepan Vukčić Kosača also supported the old church of Dormition of the Mother of God in the Savina Monastery near the coastal town of Novi, the winter residence of Kosača Family. He took a title of Herzog of Saint Sava from 1449, expressing even before that time his deepest respect towards the greatest Serbian saint and the first Serbian archbishop.