Crkve u srpskim srednjovekovnim utvrđenjima i gradskim naseljima (XII–XV vek): izabrani primeri

Gavrić, Gordana and Petrović, Vladeta (2022) Crkve u srpskim srednjovekovnim utvrđenjima i gradskim naseljima (XII–XV vek): izabrani primeri. Istorijski časopis, 71. pp. 35-64. ISSN 0350-0802

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Several different types of cities existed in parallel in the Serbian medieval state: old Byzantine cities, mining urban settlements, capital cities, fortifications with suburbs and marketplaces. Christianity, whose present-day heritage includes numerous churches built in settlements across the Serbian lands, gave a particular dimension to each type of the city. There is not a single urban settlement without a church, or a city without church jurisdiction. At the time of the Nemanjić dynasty, there was no single, unique capital, but rulers lived in their different courts, of which some were located in the most important cities. Some of these settlements became central places in concrete historical periods, such as the Ras fortress. Judging by the comparative analysis of results of the research into medieval sites (Maglič, Kruševac, Smederevo, Novo Brdo, Mileševac), churches in medieval fortifications and settlements were erected in different locations and for different purposes. The court church of prince Lazar, built in his capital city of Kruševac, belongs to the small group of churches that have been preserved within fortifications, since many were demolished in the Turkish period. The church built in the Morava architectural style, with pronounced verticalism, dedicated to St Stephen and known today as Lazarica, dominates the internal space of the medieval perimeter wall. In the Smederevo city, the largest Serbian fortification, despot Đurađ Branković built the Annunciation Church, which has not been precisely ubicated to date. The church erected in the older cult place is assumed to have been a court church and was built at the same time as the Small Town, outside the perimeter wall (1428–1430). After the construction of the Big Town, it was found within the fortification which was completed before the Turkish conquest of Smederevo in 1439. The Church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos (today in the contemporary cemetery), the only preserved sacral edifice from the time of the construction of the fortification, may have served, in one period, as the cathedral church for Smederevo metropolitans. This does not bring into question the fact that despot Đurađ Branković built in his capital city the cathedral church where the relics of St Luke were kept, but this church has not been discovered to date. In the Serbian lands of the Middle Ages, some larger cities were important episcopal and economic centres, such as Prizren and Novo Brdo. The episcopal Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš in Prizren was located in the very core of the urban settlement, outside the city walls. The cathedral Church of St Nicholas in Novo Brdo, one of the largest Serbian medieval churches, is located within the spacious suburbs not far away from the square. In terms of its monumentality, the three-nave edifice with a spacious narthex is on a par only with the sumptuous, 14th-century rulers’ endowments, Dečani, Banjska and the Holy Archangels near Prizren. It is assumed that it was the seat of the bishops of Lipljan-Gračanica who used to carry the title of Novo Brdo metropolitans as well. A small single-nave church was located in the Upper Town and there were two churches in the Lower Town, one of which was two-confessional. In addition to the majority Orthodox population, the Catholics, Saxons, Kotorans and people of Dubrovnik stayed in Novo Brdo temporarily or permanently. They had their own church in the Lower Square – Santa Maria in Novomonte, known as the Saxon church. Archbishop Danilo II showed great zeal in building secular and sacral edifices in Maglič, a medieval multi-functional fortification (a military fortification, residential complex and the Žiča refuge), built at the strategically important place in the Ibar Gorge. He was particularly devoted to the Church of St George, built in parallel with he fortifications in the late 13th or early 14th century. A characteristic example of construction of a church outside the fortification is the Ružica Church, a nobleman’s endowment, whose services were intended for the population of the fortified city of Mileševac, an important point in the defence system of Polimlje. A relative chronology between the Church and the City was established as follows: the older phase of the single-nave Ružica Church seen in the naos and fragments of frescoes dated to the 13th century corresponds to the older phase of Mileševac, while the younger phase, the added narthex, corresponds to the younger phase of the City – the period of Kosače. In addition to fortified cities in the Serbian lands of the Middle Ages, there were also other settlements created in the wave of urbanisation prompted by the development of trade, such as those formed at the foot of fortresses, at a crossroads, near caravan stations or at places of temporary fairs/panađurs. Trgovište in the area of Stari Ras belongs to this type of a non-fortified urban settlement. Four smaller churches were discovered there, and their ktetors were most probably reputable citizens, well-off merchants or rich families. On the selected examples of fortifications and settlements it has been shown that there are no rules when it comes to where churches were positioned, inside or outside the perimeter wall. More intensive archaeological research into medieval fortifications would doubtless offer new and significant data for studying sacral architecture in the area of the Serbian medieval lands.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: crkve, utvrđenja, Srbija, srednji vek
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
Depositing User: Milica J
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2023 11:26
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2023 09:07

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