February 13, 2009

St. Peter's Church near Novi Pazar

While traveling around the Raska Region I visited some of the most meaningful Serbian Sacral Buildings: like Djurdjevi Stupovi Manastir (look here) and here Crkva Svetog Petra.

St. Peter's church (Црква светог Петра) near Novi Pazar is one of the oldest churches on the territory of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Parts of the building dates back to the 8th century, while most of the church was built in the 9th and the dome from the 10th century. The church has many layers of frescoes from different periods, the oldest from the 9th century.

Floor plan

It is very well known as the earliest spiritual centers in the Ras area where the first Serb state was created under great Zupan Nemanja (Stefan Nemanja) in 11th century. It was in this church that Nemanja was baptized. (Later this first ruler of an organized Serb state became a monk in Mount Athos where he and his son St. Sava, the first Archbishop of Serbia established the monastery of Hilandar.)
Stefan Nemanja build later the church of Djurdjevi Stupovi to thank St. George.


St. Peter's church is situated at the outskirts of Novi Pazar and is historically linked with the old city of Ras which used to be the first Serbian capital.
Historians claim that the first church that was built on this site was an old Christian basilica which was later rebuilt in the shape of today's church, during the early Middle Ages.

The church was also important state and political center because synods and meetings were held under its vaults.

Today the church is surrounded by the 18-19th century Serbian Orthodox graveyard which is one of the best preserved of this kind in Serbia.

Here some links to travel around the area of Novi Pazar:
I wrote abou it here, here and here.
The tourist office of Novi Pazar has a good website here
And here another good site that tells a little more about the region.

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