Vranje, Serbia, October 5, 2022
The Monastery of St. Nicholas is the true gem of the town of Vranje in southern Serbia. Built in the 14th century during the reign of King Stefan Dečanski, the holy habitation is celebrating its 690th anniversary this year.
The milestone was festively celebrated yesterday, October 4, which also marks the liberation of the city in World War I.
The Divine Litugy was celebrated by His Grace Bishop Arsenije of Niš together with the local hierarch, His Grace Bishop Pahomije of Vranje, and other Serbian hierarchs, and His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion of Bregalnica and His Eminence Metropolitan Grigorij of Kumanovo and Osogovo of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric, the monastery reports.
After the Liturgy, a procession was held to the Memorial Ossuary in Surdulica in honor of those who were massacred there in World War I, and the monument was solemnly consecrated.
The day concluded with a choir concert and festive meal.
St. Nicholas Monastery, Vranje
The St. Nicholas Monastery was built from 1322 to 1332. About 10 years later, the Church of St. Nicholas was donated by Emperor Stefan Dušan to Hilandar, the Serbian Monastery on Mt. Thos.
After the conquest of the region by the Turks at the end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th century, the monastery suffered like the rest of the holy sites, and it lay in ruin until the 19th century. The first major renovation of the church began in 1894. It concluded in 1905 and the church was consecrated the next year.
The monastery again suffered greatly during the Second World War, and services were celebrated only on Sundays and feast days.
In the late 1990s, the monastery was designated as an episcopal residence and a comprehensive restoration plan was initiated. First, the church was rebuilt, with a dome made in imitation of that sitting upon the main church at Hilandar on Mt. Athos. Over the next two decades, the rest of the monastery was rebuilt and beautified.
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Source: Orthodox Christianity