A Resting Place amidst Saint’s Relics
Jagodina lies 135km from Belgrade and is accessible via the highway heading to Niš. The first written historical document that cites Jagodina dates back to the 14th century. Records indicate that Jagodina was a developed town with a state administration.
The Turks set up a settlement here in the 15th and 16th centuries. Travel memoirs describe it as “a beautiful town with four caravanserais (Turkish inns with courtyards for caravans) and two mosques.” Jagodina played an important role during both Serbian Uprisings and the liberation from the Turks. In the mid-19th century the first glass-producing factory was established here; soon after, a brewery began to operate.
Jagodina is now a modern city of the Pomoravlje region (the area that surrounds the River Morava). The city’s town center features a number of beautiful buildings from its past. The Native Museum of Jagodina is now located in what used to be the old school house building. The town center features the 1899 St. Peter and St. Paul Church, designed by Svetozar Ivačković. The structure is well proportioned, has a developed cross-in-square base, five domes and a separate bell tower. Hajduk-Veljko’s konak (residence) is located nearby. The structure is a historical edifice named for the hero of First Serbian Uprising, who lived here for a period.
The 14th century Jošanica monastery is nestled in the hills of Crni Vrh (Black Top) Mountain, 10km from Jagodina. The monastery, which was founded by Tsar Lazar, features the Moravian style Nicholas Church. If you are visiting the area, a stop here is a must!
Just 13 km from Jagodina, the town of Cuprija (Ćuprija) lies at the intersection of the Ravanica River with Velika (Great) Morava. This is a typical Moravian town 145 km from Belgrade with a population of 22,000. Its main street is named after Tsar Lazar.
Cuprija is best known for the magnificent Ravanica monastery. You will find the monastery just 15km from the town center, off highway E 75. Tsar Lazar, who is buried here, founded Ravanica. During the great migration of Serbs across the Sava and Danube Rivers, his remains were taken to Saint Andrews church in Hungary, and then to the Vrdnik monastery in Fruška Gora. During WWII, they were transported to Saborna Crkva, the Saint Michael the Archangel Cathedral in Belgrade, before they were finally returned to Ravanica in 1989.
This magnificent structure, whose construction began in 1375, features a surrounding wall marked by seven towers. Turks destroyed Ravanica in 1389, 1436, and 1438 before it was completely abandoned in 1690. Monks later returned to Ravanica.
Ravanica’s architecture exhibits the foundations of the Moravian School of Serbian medieval masonry. Its design combines elements of the temples built by previous Serbian rulers, with a cross-in-square base of a church, with those used traditionally in the Mount of St. Athos monasteries with tri-conchal bases. With its multiple layers of stone and brick, a large rosette above the western portal and checkerboard patterns under the domes, the church’s exterior exemplify the Byzantium style.
Ravanica’s window frames are richly decorated with shallow reliefs. The church’s most exquisite frescoes are the Mother of God with Christ in the altar apse and the Miracles of Christ. The paintings in the narthex are from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Saint Transfiguration monastery is located near the Crnica River, just 12 km from Ravanica. The monastery was named after its patron Father Sisoje, a respected spiritual leader. His portrait is partially preserved in a fresco depicting him holding a model of the church. The monastery, which is typical of the Moravian Masonry School, once featured a plethora of frescoes that remain only partially preserved today. The best-preserved frescoes resemble those present at Ravanica, which are considered to be the most beautiful paintings of Moravian Serbia. Visit the Ravanica monastery and you will be transported back in time!
When in Jagodina or Curprija, we recommend:
- A visit to the Native Museum of Jagodina
- A stroll down Tsar Lazar Street in Cuprija
- Taking a photo in the courtyard at Ravanica monastery
Since 1960, Jagodina has been home to the Museum of naïve art. Known as the Gallery of Self-Taught Painters, it is Serbia’s first naïve art establishment. The museum focuses on the systematic gathering, preservation, and study of naïve art pieces. Jagodina was chosen as the site of the museum because the original collection mostly features the works of Janko Brašić, a peasant artist from the nearby town of Opariće. Located in the very center of the city, the museum is housed in a beautiful 1929 villa. Today, it exhibits over 2,500 pieces by naïve artists, which makes it one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. Approximately 200 of the most representative naïve art pieces were chosen for the museum’s permanent exhibit.
INFORMATIONSTourist Organization of Jagodina 2 Stevana Ivanovica Street, 35000 Jagodina Tel: +381 35 252 983 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.togjagodina.autentik.net