Visoki Decani: The legacy of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo - a lighthouse through the centuries, requires long-term protection

Manastir Visoki Dečani
Source: Kosovo Online

Visoki Decani Monastery stated on the social network "X" that the legacy of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo was not just a chapter in history but a chronicle of faith, resilience and the unyielding spirit of the people.

"For centuries, this heritage has borne witness to the unshakable devotion of the Serbian people, marking Kosovo as a sanctuary of spiritual and cultural identity. Despite the ebb and flow of empires, wars and historical challenges, this religious heritage has thrived, similar to an age-old tree that stands tall despite weather storms," it is said on the account of the Visoki Decani monastery on the "X" network.

As it is added, Serbian Orthodox shrines in Kosovo are not only cultural and civilizational landmarks, but also lively liturgical spaces where SOC monks, nuns, local Kosovo Serbs, pilgrims from abroad and numerous tourists from all over the world find comfort in prayer and spiritual reflection.

"Among the numerous religious buildings throughout Kosovo, four monuments of the Serbian Orthodox Church stand out, not only for their religious significance for Serbs, but also as important monuments of the region and universal symbols of cultural heritage. These four sites, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, are not only Serbian treasures, but belong to the whole of humanity, designated as international beacons of art, architecture and spirituality", they say from the Monastery.

They point out that these are the Patriarchate of Pec, Visoki Decani, Gracanica and the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviska.

For the Patriarchate of Pec, they quote information from Wikipedia that it is a complex with four churches from the 13th and 14th centuries and a combination of Byzantine and Serbian medieval art.

"As the historical seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church since the 13th century, it is a silent witness of important church councils and contains the graves of medieval archbishops and patriarchs, which represent key moments in Serbian religious history," the announcement added.

For the Visoki Decani monastery, they also quote Wikipedia, which states that this monastery is a miracle from the 14th century that represents the embodiment of medieval Serbian architecture and art.

"Its frescoes, vivid depictions of biblical stories, are among the most valuable in European medieval art," reads a quote from Wikipedia.

The Gracanica monastery is said to be the jewel in the crown of Serbian medieval Christian tradition, while the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviska is said to be from the 14th century and was the ancient center of Prizren's Orthodox bishops.

The monasteries say that these locations are more than bricks and mortar and that they are the very soul of the Serbian Orthodox people, a treasure trove of stories, prayers, and centuries-old traditions.

"They are also a source of pride for all people in Kosovo who cherish art and beauty and respect different traditions. In a world, that often forgets its past, the legacy of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo serves as a beacon that reminds us of the enduring power of faith, the sanctity of culture, and the timeless bridges that can unite different peoples. This priceless heritage requires long-term protection, because it represents a vital part in the mosaic of different cultural and religious traditions in the Balkans", said the monastery.