Near the charming Ibar river gorge, surrounded by high protective walls, rises the monastery of Studenica – the endowment of Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja, who was the founder of the independent Serbian state and of a dynasty that ruled Serbia for two full centuries.
The significant medieval Serbian monastery serves as a major spiritual and artistic centre of the Serbian people. It took from 1183 to 1196, more than a decade, to create this stunning work of medieval architecture. Monastic life on Studenica never stopped since its foundation in the 12th century.
Other than serving as the final resting-place and endowment of the founder of the Nemanjić dynasty, Studenica was also an inspiration to many rulers from this line, who erected mausoleums resembling the Church of the Mother of God, which is considered to be one of the most important examples of Raška architecture. An original mixture of the Byzantine sense of space and building structures with exterior forms and finishes in white marble deriving from Romanesque architecture, make Studenica a great piece of central European architecture. The frescos, masterpieces of Byzantine painting from the early 13th century, follow the path of medieval Serbian art. The arches of the monastery guard some prime examples of Serbian applied art, such as the ring of Stefan Nemanja, various burial shrouds, objects made from metal, charters and other relics.
A special place in the Studenica monastery complex, with its extraordinarily refined wall paintings, is taken up by the King’s Church, an endowment of King Milutin from 1314. Regarded as a whole, these wall paintings are some of the most beautiful examples of Serbian medieval art found anywhere in the world.
The Studenica monastery, located on the Transromanica Cultural Route, with its churches, dining rooms, bell towers and living quarters, has retained its original function and is a site protected to the largest extent possible under law. It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1986.
How to get there
From Belgrade, there are three routes:
1. Belgrade (E75 highway to Batocina exit the right to Kragujevac) - Kragujevac - Kraljevo - Ušće- Studenica 2. Belgrade (highway E75 to Mali Pozarevac exit right to Mladenovcu) - Maldenovac- Poplar - Mine - Gornji Milanovac - Kraljevo - Ušće- Studenica
3. Belgrade (Ibar highway) - Stepojevac - Han - Gornji Milanovac - Kraljevo - Studenica
From the direction of Nis, there are two routes:
1. Nis - Krusevac - Kraljevo -Ušće - Studenica
2. Nis - Krusevac - Bruce - Jošanička Banja- Studenica