Sokolica Monastery

Sokolica Monastery

Sokolica Monastery is dedicated to the Shroud of the Holy Virgin, and is situated on the steep inaccessible slopes of Sokolica hill /hawks nests/, 10 km east from Zvecan Fortification, above town of Kosovska Mitrovica. It is assumed that the Sokolica Monastery Church has been built by the Serbian nobleman Musa /who was son in law of Tzar Lazar and father of Music Brothers who were the founders of Nova Pavlica Monastery/ between the 14th and the 15th century to glorify the God’s will of the miraculous healing spring flow close to the tiny Monastery church, as no historical records exist about this shrine. The small Sokolica Monastery Church was been built of the neatly cut stone, with shallow semicircular arched apse. The facades, the northern one in particular, feature many old inscriptions presenting primitive drawings of people and animals. Although the wall paintings of Sokolica Monastery was severely damaged during the Turkish rule, several representations have been preserved: Christ Pantocrator in the dome, Assumption on the western wall, Liturgy of Arch-priests in the apse.

Besides the main church of Sokolica Monastery, all present buildings date from the more recent period. At the beginning of the 20th century the school was operating within the Monastery of Sokolica. The architectural repairs and conservation works on Sokolica Monastery were carried out in 1995/1996. A new Sokolica Monastery dormitories for nuns were added in the 1980’s.

The splendid example of the Byzantine art, the marble sculpture of the Virgin and Christ Child, with dimensions 106 x 67,50 cm dating back to 1312 – 1316 is kept in the Sokolica Monastery. This famous sculpture of the Virgin holding Christ Child was brought here from Banjska Monastery for safety reasons, to be preserved from Turkish destruction. The cult of Sokolica Virgin has always enjoyed a great reputation among the faithful people, especially by childless couples who pray for the Virgin’s blessing, regardless of their confession.

Nowadays all surroundings of Sokolica Monastery are settled by Albanian population, since the last Serb family moved from this small village in 1967. Since 1956 Sokolica Monastery is the true monastic place of nuns significantly engaged in icon-painting and fresco-painting in their delicate devotion. Mother Makarija /Macaria/, the Abbess of Sokolica Monastery, is known as one of the most prized icon-painters in Serbia for her theological and artisan skills, besides her doctorate in chemistry and acknowledgments from the Theological Faculty in Thessaloniki. She says : …” The eyes of the Angels on the icons I paint tell the truth about Kosovo and the Serbian people…” Sokolica Monastery belongs to cultural monuments of Serbia of special significance. Nuns and the Abbess Makarija painted the large Dining room of the Zica Monastery, while their icons completed in the Sokolica Monastery found their place in a number of the Serbian Monasteries and churches.