Tresije Monastery

Tresije Monastery

On the northwestern slope of Kosmaj Mountain lies Tresije Monastery. Many have written about the beauty of Kosmaj Mountain, the highest mountain of northern Šumadija, and many will write about the monastery hidden in its forests that surround it on three sides enabling peace and tranquility. You meet and hear only the sound of church bells. Bells are set in the late 13th century during the time of King Dragutin, and a century later, Despot Stefan Lazarevic, the son of Knez Lazar /Prince Lazar/ renewed and rebuilt the existing Monastery. The Tresije Monastery was developed in that period. Till the mid-16th century Tresije Monastery became the spiritual center with the largest number of monks in Belgrade “pashaluk” – province (according to the Turkish records from 1560). Unfortunately that development did not last for long. Tresije Monastery has experienced the fate of his people – since the Turkish Empire was loosing its strength, Turks have expressed their anger on Serbs and their holy shrines. During the late 17th century Serbs were persecuted by Turks and fled to the north so Kosmaj Monastery was destroyed and looted. The largest number of monks settled in Rakovica Monastery. With assistance of good will locals monks renewed Tresije Monastery in 1709 what is recorded in the stone-plaque. However, thirty years later the Monastery was destroyed again. The following years were the years of rebellion and uprising. For two centuries the Tresije Monastery was in ruins, but still in the minds and hearts of people from Kosmaj, who prayed over its remains. In the 20th century a woman had dream about the monastery that should be renewed. The restoration works started in 1936, but due to the turbulent time, they were slowly executed.

Archimandrite Jovan was head of the monastery, since 1951, from the moment of his arrival as a novice. Now he is the only monk in the Tresije Monastery, always ready to listen and advise. Even though he has a serious health problems, he has never refused a conversation with anyone who seeks  it. Beside him, there is a novice. Being asked what was his motivation to leave behind the former way of life and to come to the monastery, the young man replied with smile: “The same as with all others who did the same – Love!”

The Tresije monastery is dedicated to assembly of the Holy Archangels. Regularly and especially it celebrates St. Archangel Gabriel (26 July), St. Eliah (2 August), St. Simeon (14 September) and St. Archangel Michael (November 21). Under its patronage, various cultural and artistic events are organized: the literary program “Under linden tree of Tresije monastery”, “Days of Milovan Vidaković,” which starts with the work and art colony consisting mostly of school children. The Tresije Monastery is also involved in publishing.

During the nineties of the 20th century a new dormitory has been built, on the initiative of father John. The cornerstone was passed from the Holy Mountain. In addition to dormitory a new bell tower and entrance gate were added as well as the turret with a bell. Restoration works on the Tresije Monastery were left off due to lack of funds. Father John hopes that his health will endure, before the monastery renovation is completed and that people of good will help the reconstruction, like three centuries ago.