Destinations / Coastal region
Monastery Savina | Boka Kotorska, MontenegroWednesday, October 5, 2011 · Region Coastal region · Comments
The Savina monastery, located near the town of Herceg-Novi, was built amidst rich mediterranean vegetation in one of the most attractive corners of the northern Montenegrin coast. The name originates from the 4th Century martyr St. Sabbi. There is considerable controversy regarding its age. The monastery consists of three churches: the church of the Assumption, the church of St.Sava of Serbia and the larger cathedral of the Assumption. The church of the Assumption is very small, only ten meters long and six meters wide.
11th century Monastery?
It probably dates back to 1030, although the earliest written reference to the monastery dates from 1648. According to tradition, the monastery was renovated by the monks, led by the Bishop Ljubibratic, who fled the Tvrdos monastery in Herzegovina to escape the Turkish onslaught. The church possesses rich treasures from the Nemanjic period, including the shroud from the Tvrdos monastery, the remains of the wife of the tzar Dusan of Serbia, a silver-plated hand said to be that of the queen Jelena, a crystal cross decorated with gold, silver and four rubies, said to have belonged to St.Sava, and many other objects of historical interest. The church of St.Sava, whose construction is attributed to Sava Nemanjic, is located outside the monastery, on a wooded hill. The cathedral of the Assumption was built between 1777 and 1799 by builder Nikola Foretic from the island of Korcula.
Monastery Savina location
The monastery Savina is located in one of the most beautiful bays in the world – bay of Boka Kotorska. It is located 2 kilometers away from Herceg Novi in thick Mediterranean forest. It is situated on the hill from which the view stretches over Lustica and Ostri Rt (Sharp cape), as well as on Topla in whose hinterland plain Sutorina is located. On the east side the view goes towards Tivat bay, above which raises giant Lovcen.
This medieval monastery has three churches of which two of them are dedicated to Uspenje Bogorodice (Falling into sleep of Holy Mother of God). It has sleeping quarters with treasury, and a separated church of Svet Sava (St. Sava). Small and Big church with sleeping quarters make one entity while the third church, parish one, is located on the mount above the quarters and it is dedicated to Sveti Sava. According to a legend Sveti Sava (St. Sava) built this church in XIII century, and it is by him that it got the name.
Small church of Sveto Uspenje Bogorodice (St. Falling into sleep of Holy Mother of God) is characteristic because of the frescoes on which you can see Great holidays and Life of Jesus, and those were made by famous Kotor painter Lovro Dobricevic, one of the greatest masters on the coast in the middle of XV century. These frescoes are example of mixture of Byzantine icon painting and Gothic way of expression. According to some records this church dates from 1030. That is a church with one transept with half circle apsidal, a belfry and an oculus above the west portal. It was renewed in 1831 with the help of prior Makarije, and at that time its old pictures were also repaired. It is not familiar who built the Small church of Uspenje Bogorodice (Falling into sleep of Holy Mother of God), which dates from the XV century, but many things indicate that the aristocrat Bosnian family Kosaca built it.
The monastery sleeping quarters were initially built as a regular rectangle. They used to have the west and the north wing. North wing had 4 cells, and the west wing had a pergola. In it was also situated the episcopacy hall and a library. The building was thorn down in 1937 in order to await for its renewal in 1725, and somewhat later some repairs have been some when the new doors were opened as well as suitable windows.
Big church dates from XVIII century and it is a piece of work of Dalmatia master builder Nikola Foretic and it represents one of the most beautiful facilities of this school from the age of Dalmatian baroque. Belfry is specially pointed out in this church, which has been decorated with wreaths, rosettes, and niches providing in that way the façade with baroque silhouette. The decision for the construction of the Big church was made by the synod of the monastery bishops in 1755 for whose authorization Danilo Joanorajovic went to Venice. Venetian doge Alvizo Mocenigo gave permission for construction, which is even today found in the treasury of the monastery.
The treasury of the monastery has some Russian, Italian, and Krit icons, and parchments and shod Gospels.