Skip to comments.Endangered Site: Visoki Decani Monastery, Kosovo
Posted on 03/06/2009 10:25:16 AM PST by Doctor13
The fate of the 14th-century abbey, one of the best-preserved medieval churches in the Balkans, has been darkened by ethnic violence.
Time stands still within the Visoki Decani Monastery, nestled among chestnut groves at the foot of the Prokletije Mountains in western Kosovo. Declared a World Heritage Site in 2004, Unesco cited the 14th-century abbey as an irreplaceable treasure, a place where "traditions of Romanesque architecture meet artistic patterns of the Byzantine world."
The Serbian Orthodox monastery represents, according to art historian Bratislav Pantelic, author of a book on Decani's architecture, "the largest and best-preserved medieval church in the entire Balkans." Construction of Decani, dedicated to Christ the Pantocrator, or ruler of the universe, commenced in 1327 under King Stefan Uros III Decanski. (The monastery also functions as his mausoleum; the king's coffin rests at the head of the altar.)
The monarch's son, Stefan IV, completed his father's monument and was also responsible for the defining glory of the building's interior: its Byzantine frescoes, several thousand in all. The wall paintings incorporate thousands of individual figures illustrating such themes as the life of Christ, the veneration of the Virgin and the succession of kings in Stefan III's dynasty. Some of the tableauxthe story of Genesis, the Acts of the Apostles and the Proverbs of Solomonare unique to Byzantine painting. Created over a span of 15 years, the frescoes exist in a state of extraordinary preservation. "When you go in," adds Pantelic, "you see exactly what you would have seen in the mid-1300s. That's what is amazing."
Across the centuries, Pantelic says, the abbey was regarded as "an ancient holy place that transcended religious divisions." In recent years, however, Decani's fate has been darkened by the cycle of ethnic violence that has engulfed the region since the early 1990s. Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians have long pressed for independence from Serbia. In 1998, then-Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic sent armed forces to crush the separatist movement. A campaign of NATO bombing, followed by the introduction of United Nations peacekeepers (a presence continued today), was required to end the bloodshed.
During the fighting, the monks of Decani, following centuries-old tradition, sheltered refugees of all ethnicities. Yet, Decani's symbolic significance as a Serbian Orthodox cultural monument has rendered the abbey vulnerable.
On March 30, 2007, the monastery was attacked with grenades, presumably thrown by ethnic Albanian insurgents. Fortunately, the damage was "negligible," according to Sali Shoshaj, director of the Kosovo office of Cultural Heritage Without Borders, a Swedish organization founded in 1995 to preserve and restore Balkan sites. At least one person, reports Shoshaj, has been arrested. The situation has stabilized to the point that Decani has reopened to visitors, he says. Local guides, fluent in many languages, lead tours into the church.
Today, the abbey is protected by a force of Italian U.N. peacekeepers, who respectfully stand guard outside its cobblestone courtyard. Decani must "remain intact as part of the Balkan heritage," says Pantelic. "It belongs to all of us."
The Architecture of Decani and the Role of Archbishop Danilo II by Bratislav Pantelic, Reichert Verlag (Wiesbaden) 2002
Don't tell me. Was it the Hasidic terrorists this time? Or the Mormons?
Funny how, in an article about a violent religious conflict (which liberals describe as the quintessence of religion), only one of the religions is named.
I have a list of things I’d pay a hundred dollars to watch; at the very top of that list would be Serbia retaking Kosovo on Bork Oinkbama’s watch.
Visoki (High) Decani
What they are worried about is a repeat of this:
I would like to see that too. Unfortunately he won’t pull out the U.S. troops, so it won’t happen.
Could it happen here?
The muslim ‘police’ need to guard their own women from the ravages of their own muzzies beating and murdering them. Let Christians police their own holy sites.
Not just in Kosovo, but all over the world.
And there is this on the same site:
Bulletin of Christian Persecution Facts without comments-- We Collect the Dots; You Connect Them with a fair amount of incidents in Bosnia and Kosovo listed.
It already has begun to happen here!
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Thanks for the laugh! Assuming the Serbianna link is true: "A 2000 Un study estimates that 25% of Kosovos Albanian Muslim females suffer physical or psychological abuse but only 1,000 cases of domestic violence have been recorded by Kosovo Albanian authorities."
here's what they say about Serbia: "In Serbia, some estimate that domestic violence affects up to half of all women regardless of socio-economic or ethnic status. If victims seek help at all, they often face a legal and judicial system that perpetuates the guilt and shame they already feel, further handicapping them.
In western Serbia's Uzice municipality, for example, police reports from 2003 document only 20 domestic violence cases. And, according to recent domestic-violence awareness training recently conducted by USAID partner ABA/CEELI, Serbian judges and prosecutors largely view domestic violence as a family matter outside of the courts' purview."
Most of the trafficked women are Russian, Moldovan or Ukrainian, so desperate to get away from their abusive, drunk males that they fall for the trafficker lies. Does 'Russian mail order bride' ring a bell?
On a 1-10 scale, how dumb do you feel now?
I would suggest that you not make issues "personal."
Now that you have a real name a name to know you by I can respond accordingly:
What’s up with the anger? Think before insulting others, that’s all. It turns out Serbs are even worst at domestic abuse than the people you bashed.
Ps. I am not a Nazi and definitely didn’t come from Asia minor like some others in the 1920’s.
I would also suggest that you do the same...or am I asking for too much?
The destruction of Serbian Orthodox Churches (CHRISTIAN churches) in the Kosovo and Metohija area has been one of the great tragedies of that area. The "Humanitarians" of the West have virtually ignored this phenomenon, which proves just how phony these bleeding hearts are.
A particularly bad year was 1999, the year of the "Bombing by NATO".
The following website provides a good overview of the casualties suffered by the Serbian churches during just one short period of a few months.
Catalog of Destroyed and Desecrated Churches in Kosovo and Metohia (June-October 1999)
Number of destroyed and desecrated Serbian shrines in different zones of responsibility of KFOR units deployed in Kosovo and Metohia (total 76)
10 United Kingdom
Just one of the examples:
The church of the Holy Virgin Hodegetria, built in 1315. Think about that. This church survived even the rule of the Ottoman Turks in that area for centuries.
And after the "mining":
Funny how the "Humanitarians" all seem to have an overwhelming compassion for the 'Muslim casualties', but when it comes to 'Christian' casualties, they are not so empathetic. And still they do not see the huge mistake they have made in judgment.
By the way, the Turks were actually quite accomodating of the Serbian Orthodox Church for over 4 centuries of Ottoman rule. They "allowed" the SOC to exist and flourish.
What has happened, and been allowed to happen, to the Serbian Orthodox Church in these 'modern' times is a WAR CRIME.
Ronly Bonly Jones, in his various re-incarnations, only knows how to spew anti-Christian hatred.
You are on a fool’s errand
He’s a fool on a marathon of a Jihadist’s errand.
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