Sopoćani

The monastery of Sopoćani is located at the very source of the river Raška, some 15 km west of Novi Pazar. It was built in 1260 by King Uroš I Nemanjić as a church which would serve as his burial place, and was extended and renovated in the mid-14th century by his great-grandson Dušan. Of the former larger monastery complex, which comprised numerous structures (dining rooms, residential buildings and others), today only the Church of the Holy Trinity remains. The monastery was once surrounded by a high stone wall with two gates.

The paintings in the church are among the most impressive examples of Byzantine fresco painting, which bring the people and events of Christian history spectacularly to life. The Sopoćani frescoes, which were created in the second half of the 13th century, represent the peak of a classical style that primarily emphasised harmony and beauty. The most valuable fresco is a composition of the Ascension of the Mother of God on the western wall of the church which resounds in a symphony of yellow, blue, green and violet.

The monastery was entered in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 as part of the Stari Ras and Sopoćani complex. The Sopoćani monastery is located on the Transromanica Cultural Route.