Žiča Monastery

Along with the Studenica and Hilandar Monasteries, Žiča constitutes an integral triad (three in one, a trinity), the foundations of the Serbian statehood. Žiča “of Seven Doors” and its Church of the Ascension (Holy Salvation Church) was built by Nemanja’s son, the first King of Serbia, Stefan The Firs-Crowned in collaboration with his brother, St Sava. Žiča was completed after the Serbian Church got its independence in 1219, and it was fresco painted then. Wall painting dating from that period are poorly preserved, but one can notice a similarity with those of Studenica. In the newly built church, the first Serbian Archbishop, St Sava, ordained the first Serbian bishops and crowned the first Serbian king. It is considered the birth of the Serbian state. Žiča became the Archbishopric – the seat of the Serbian archbishop.


St Sava required Žiča to be covered by plaster and painted in red, like the greatest Mount Athos churches, symbolising the blood of Christian martyrs, which gave birth to the Church.


A novel, Siege of The Holy Salvation Church (Opsada crkve Svetog Spasa), by Goran Petrović


Žiča was built nearby Kraljevo, on the spot which is of the same distance from both Rome and Constantinople.


Like Serbia itself, Žiča also suffered through centuries. It was first destroyed by the Tatars in the late 13th century, so the archbishopric seat was moved to the Patriarchy of Peć. Almost 150 years the Holy Salvation Church in Žiča was roofless. Great restoration works were conducted in the 19th century. It was destroyed once again by the Nazi bombardment in the WWII. Eight centuries of its existence, the Žiča Monastery celebrated in 2006-2008.


Stefan The First-Crowned, St Sava