Built between in 1370. and 1380s, Ravanica
is the famous Prince Lazar's foundation, where he was
buried after his death in the Kosovo battle. Since then,
Ravanica has been a pilgrim's destination and an important
center of cultural activities and the Serbian people's
The monastery has been assaulted and injured by the
Turks several times, in 1386, 1398. and 1436. In the
great war after the second siege of Vienna a number
of monks got killed and the rest of them, in 1690, took
the relics of the sainted Prince Lazar withdrawing,
in front of the Turkish offensive. Only in 1717. the
only survived among the monks, Teacher Stefan came back
in Ravanica and found the monastery looted and deserted.
With the help of the local inhabitants he restored the
monastery and built a new narthex.
The monastery suffered repeated assaults during the
Serbian revolution, at the beginnings of the XIX c.
The new restoration took place in the mid of the XIXth
century. During the World War II Germans violated and
damaged the monastery once more time, and detained,
tortured and killed its archimandrite Makarije on February
The Ravanica church is the first monument of the Morava
School of the Serbian medieval art. Its ground plan
has the form of an enlarged trefoil with a nine-sided
dome in the middle and fpur smaller octagonal domes
above the corner bays. There are 62 window lights. The
church was built in alternate courses of single-line
stone and three-line bricks. Valuable ceramic decoration
makes use of geometrical patterns, floral motifs, zoomorphic
and athropomorphic shapes.
The frescoes were not carried out at
the same time and by the same artists. They are dated
between 1385. and 1387. The middle-register frescoes,
which are of the highest artistic value wewe painted
by two artists, one of them known as Constantine, who
left his signature on a fresco of a warrior saint.
The noteworthy compositions include the Communion of
the Apostles and the Adoration of the Lamb in the altar
apse, as well as the festival Cycle in the upper registers
of the church.