The history of the Žiča Monastery in Serbia is essentially the story of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The impressive monastery is a national symbol and a place we often talk about, but which leaves visitors speechless. This true Orthodox sanctuary remains a symbol of 800 years of inspiration and faith for the Serbian people, an important step on the map of the Orthodox pilgrimage and an ideal place for tourists who want to know more about Serbian tradition and history.
Žiča(Zicha), is a Serbian Orthodox monastery located near the city of Kraljevo, in the center of Serbia. The seat of the episcopate that bears his name, the Žiča monastery marks the beginning of the Ibar gorge. This monastery was built at the beginning of the thirteenth century by order of the first king of Serbia, Stephen I Nemanjić or Esteban el Primercoronado, as well as the first archbishop of the country, Sava of Serbia or San Sava.
In the second half of the twentieth century, this site was declared a cultural monument of exceptional importance to the country and has become an excellent local tourist attraction. Destroyed at the end of the thirteenth century by the Bulgarians, it was rebuilt shortly after that and served as a place of coronation for most of the Serb monarchs of the Middle Ages. The monastery of Žiča was a place of coronation of seven Serbian kings and one of the oldest witnesses of the medieval Serbian kingdom, the glory, and pride of its people.
The monastery church is dedicated to the Ascension and is an example of the Raška style. With a single nave ending in a semicircular apse surmounted by a dome, the church is built of stone and brick and was painted red. Few traces of the 13th-century frescoes remain, but some of the early 14th centuries works still feature in the rich interior decoration of the church, such as portraits of the family of the patron or a cycle of the Virgin’s history.
The Monastery of Žiča was built with Romanesque style, and from the moment it was made it has the red color that distinguishes it to this day because it is a tradition of this kind of buildings of Mount Athos. The part of the church is composed of a single ship that has four sections, being the third from which rises the dome that characterizes the construction.
Inside this site, there are some frescoes whose first layer dates from the first half of the thirteenth century, between 1220 and 1234, and it is said that it was Saint Sava himself who brought the artists to make them. However, part of them was lost in a fire at the end of the same century, so that others were built in the fourteenth century that mainly represent the apostles.
This is a perfect and fantastic place for tourist. The Žiča monastery is located in the center of Serbia, near the historic city of Kraljevo and many interesting tourist services in the area. You can enjoy the scenic walk through the medieval lilac valley in the Ibar river gorge and be inspired by its history, or visit the ruins of the Magic fortress and take a look at the turbulent past, but also at the beautiful natural landscapes from the hill.