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IMMOVABLE CULTURAL MONUMENTS DATA BASE
Name: Peter's Church
Municipality: Novi Pazar
Location (place, town, city): Novi Pazar
Institute: The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia – Belgrade
Regional institute: The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments Kraljevo
Date of inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage List: 1979
CR No.: SК 182
Date of inscription in the CR: 05.04.1982
Decision on declaring the monument as NCM: Decision of the Institute for Protection and Scientific Research of the Cultural Monuments of the NRS no.2253/48 dated December 18, 1948.
Category: NCM of outstanding value
Type: Cultural monument
Year/period of construction: Before the 10th century
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The Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul belongs to the oldest medieval sacral monuments in the territory of Serbia.  The historical sources do not provide the data on the time of its foundation, however it was mentioned as the ecclesiastical seat as early as the 10th century. This temple has a special significance for the Serbian history, since the key events form the life of Stefan Nemanja are associated with it: his baptism, the council that outlawed the Bogumils at the church and passing the throne to his son Stefan.  That Peter's Church has continually existed as the Christian house of prayer for more than ten centuries is testified by numerous interventions performed both on its architecture and its iconographic decoration. The original concept of the building, based on the circular floor plan with a dome, has remained dominant until present, however during adaptations carried out at some unknown times it was added new elements to (gallery, ring-like nave later on interrupted by an annex of irregular rectangular shape). The three layers of fragmentarily preserved iconography according to the style characteristics date from the period of the 9th/10th century, the end of the 12th century as well as the last decades of the 13th century. The consistency of respecting this ancient place of worship in the preceding two centuries is shown by the necropolis with a great number of monumental tombstones. In 1979, the Monument was inscribed in the World Heritage List as part of Stari Ras with Sopocani complex. Research and conservation works were carried out at the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, archeological excavations in 1984–1986., and have been continued also during several past years.