Fruska Gora, the only mound of the otherwise flat Vojvodina (Pannonian Plain) has been the center of Serbian-orthodox spirituality for centuries. In an area of 50kn lenght and 10km width there are 16 monasteries built in the late Middle Age (even if legends tells that some of them were found as early as the 12th century) when Serbian culture was moving northward in response to the Ottoman onslaught.
The monasteries were built in the style of the Moravian School and the first founders of the monasteries were the despots of the House of Brankovici (descendands of medieval rulers of the House of Nemanjic). In the 18th century many of the monasteries were rebuilt in Baroque Style, getting tall bell towers and intricate Baroque iconostases.
During WW II the monasteries suffered severe damage by the hands of the Ustashas and many valuable objects were taken. Today some of them active and are renovated, others are undergoing renovation and other are left as they are and no monks live there anymore.
In this post I'd like to show some pictures of the best-known of them, located 13km of Sremski Karlovci, it's the Krusedol Monastery (Манастир Крушедол) and is known as the mausoleum of some famous Serbs.
photo from pravoslavlje.nl
The monastery church is dedicated to the Annunciation and was errected 1504-1514 and is a good example of Moravian Style (however Baroque details were added later).
The monastery was founded between 1509 and 1516, by Bishop Maksim and his mother, Angelina Brankovic (the daughter of Orthodox Christian Prince of Albania, Skanderbeg) who were supported by Walachian Duke Jovan Njagoja Basaraba. During the final retreat of the Turks from Srem, in 1716, the monastery was damaged and the church burnt down.
The renovation started in 1721, and was completed in the late 1760s. In 1726, a baroque bell-tower was added on to the West wing of the monks' quarters and between 1742 and 1750, the church underwent certain adaptations which did not significantly change its general original appearance. The monks' quartets were reconstructed and expanded in the same period.
The church was originally decorated with fresco paintings in the 16th century. Its interior was covered with new oil wall paintings between 1750 and 1756, done by Ukranian painter Jov Vasilijevic and Stefan Tenecki.
On the West facade, there is a composition of the "Last judgment" from the end of the 17th century. The iconostasis consists of icons from between 16th and 19th century and the Deesis (from early 1500) is a beautiful example of byzantine icons.
The church is also the tomb of the Brankovic Family as well as Patriarchs Arsenije III and Arsenije IV and several members of the Obrenovic dynasty - Pricess Ljubica and King Milan.
Today Krusedol is a working woman's monastery.
Pictures of the monastery on panoramio
A description on Bill's blog with great pictures