The mediaeval town of Ras is 11 km west of Novi Pazar and stands on a hill known as Gradina. It is thought to have been founded during the reign of John II Komnenos (1118-1143). There are three archaeological sites within the old Ras complex: the fortress on Gradina, the cave together with the monastery of the Archangel Michael beneath the fortification and the settlement of Pazarište (formerly Trgovište), the buildings of which evidence an urbanised structure.
The Ras fortress is preserved in a ruined state as the oldest example of military architecture from mediaeval Raška (Rascia), and as the seat of the Serbian rulers this fortress is of inestimable value in studying the earliest history of the Serbian state.
Around Ras there is also a group of mediaeval monasteries and churches that in 1979 were entered into the UNESCO World Heritage List under the common name of Stari Ras and Sopoćani.
INFORMATIONRas Museum www.muzejras.org