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Name: The Gracanica Monastery
Municipality: Pristina
Location (place, town, city): Gracanica
Institute: The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia – Belgrade
Regional institute: Office for Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Kosovo and Metohija
Date of inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage List: 2006
Year of inscription - Note: Inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger in 2006.
CR No.: SК 1367
Date of inscription in the CR: 30.12.1997
Decision on declaring the monument as NCM: Decision of the Institute for Protection and Scientific Research of the Cultural Monuments of the NR of Serbia in Belgrade, dated October 25, 1947.
Category: NCM of outstanding value
Type: Cultural monument
Year/period of construction: The second decade of the 14th century
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The Monastery church of the Assumption of the Virgin in Gracanica, one of the many pious endowments of King Milutin, was built in the second decade of the 14th century. Built as the five-domed church in the shape of cross, the Gracanica church presents a supreme architectural work of the epoch. In mid-14th century an exonarthex was added. Its frescoes paintings were completed in 1321 by two famous painters from Thessaloniki, Michael (Mihailo) and Eutychius (Evtihije). In the main dome, beneath the fresco of Christ the Pantacrator, there are also the paintings of the Divine Litirgy and the portraits of the prophets and evangelists. In the nave there are the cycles of the Great Feasts, the Passion of Christ, Miracles and Parables of Christ, Epiphany and post-mortem Epiphany, as well as the scenes from the life of the Virgin and St. Nicholas and Menologio. In the altar area there are the episodes from the Eucharist and the Old Testament. King Milutin and his wife Simonide, the Byzantine princess, were printed as the reigns as per the mercy of God, their crowns being brought by the angels from Heaven. In the narthex there is the family tree of the Nemanjic dynasty, as well as the frescoes of the Last Judgment. Part of the frescoes in the exonarthex was painted in the 14th century, and later in 1570. In addition to the compositions form the Ecumenical congregations, Akasthitos and baptism of the Holy Virgin, it includes the portraits of Serbian archbishops and patriarchs as well as the historical composition of the burial of the Metropolitan of GracanicaDionisije. The treasury of the Gracanica Monastery was badly damaged in several fires between 1379 and 1383. However, it still has a significant collection of icons. The oldest icon presents the Christ the Eleimon from the 14th century, and it is of unique dimensions: 269 x 139 cm. The conservation works on the Monastery architecture and frescoes paintings were carried out until 1999.