Emperor Dušаn

Stephen Urоš IV Dušаn, known as Dušаn the Mighty, a mediaeval Serbian King (1331–1345) and the first Serbian Emperor (1346–1355), son of King Stephen of Dеčаni, father to Emperor Urоšа (the Weak), the last ruler of the Nеmаnjić Dynasty. He broadened the southern Serbian borders significantly. After conquering large areas of the Byzantine lands, he proclaimed himself an Emperor of Serbs, Romeans and Bulgarians. He is famous for his book of laws (the Dušаn’s Code), the most important Serbian mediaeval legislative act. The Dušаn’s Code was enacted in  Skоpje in 1349. With some subsequent amendments it had 201 articles. The Code was an attempt to resolve the most important state issues. The first articles refer to the position of the Church, then to the rights and duties of the noblemen. Judges are obliged to judge by the law and not from fear of the emperor. His most significant endowment was the Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren, where was his grave as well.


The Holy Archangels Monastery was the apex of the Serbian church architecture, having a crucial impact on the advent and development of the Morava School style. In the early 17thcentury the monastery was totally levelled, but was restored in the 20th century.

The Prizren floor, as the annals refer to the mosaic church floor, is the most beautiful and famous part of the Dušаn’s endowment, quite unique in all the Serbian lands. It consists of large marble slabs with geometrical fields with images of various figures, animals and complex geometrical forms.


The Serbian empire covered an area three times larger than it is today. Dušаn’s greatest conquests affected the Byzantine regions, so that by 1348, the Serbian southern lands included the whole Macedonia, Albania, Epiru and Thessaly.