Gračanica was built in 1321. godine as the endowment of King Milutin, in the form of a five-domed structure with a cross-in-square layout and façades of alternating rows of brick and stone.

It was in Gračanica that, for the first time in old Serbian art, the family tree of the Nemanjić dynasty was depicted, with 16 portraits, while at the entrance to the church are portraits of the benefactor, King Milutin and his wife Simonida.

The monastery houses an important collection of icons, of which the oldest is Christ the Merciful from the 14th century, unusual because of its large size (2.69 x 1.39 m).

Gračanica monastery has been entered into the UNESCO World Heritage List under the common name of Mediaeval Monuments in Kosovo (Serbia). As of 2006 it has also been entered into the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger because of the unstable security situation currently prevailing in Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, which is currently under the administration of UNMIK (the UN Interim Administration Mission) The monastery can only be visited under the military escort of KFOR troops.