February 18, 2010

Monastery Novo Hopovo In Fruska Gora

 Novo Hopovo Monastery (Манастир Ново Хопово) was erected on the end of the 15th century by bishop Maksim (despot Djordje Brankovic). On some good preserved stones behind the west door of the temple some writings confirm that the church from 1576 is dedicated to saint Nikola. It's the oldest inscript in stone of entire Vojvodina (picture above from wiki.commons)

This monastery was one of the most important centers for Serbs in the 16th century along Dunav and Sava River. A lot of Serbian scholars came to Hopovo to learn to write and to read and to learn arabic and roman numbers.

Hopovo became also a main center for pilgrims, when the relics of Theodore of Amasea (Theodor Tiro) were found in 1555.

The painted walls of the interior (photo by Paolo)

The church was not all painted in the same time. The alter was decorated in 1608 by Hieromonachos Mitrofan. The freskoes of the narthex are from 1654. The freskoes but also the architecture are in style inspired by Sveta Gora (the region of Monut Athos) as Novo Hopovo hold a very tight alliance with Hilander Monastery and Sveta Gora.

The iconostasis is from 1776 and was painted by Teodor Kracun, one of the most significant painters of the second half of 18th century. In the monastery there was also an iconografic school led by Russians like Jov Vasilijevič i Vasilije Romanovič, painters that characterized Serbian church painting.

The painted walls of the interior (photo by Paolo)

The walls of Hopovo's church were started by Wenzel Novak, a builder from Petrovaradin until the 3rd floor. Then it was dismantled by igumane Teodor Dimitrijević Kracun (the painter) who was not satisfied with the dimensions and look.
The four central pillars are completely painted with saints and the apsis is also richly decorated with scenes of the bible.

The bell-tower (photo by Paolo)
The new version of the bell-tower was built by Nikolaus Farzel from 1758 and 1760 by everyone's satisfaction. Monks lived already in the monastery at that time, so also Dositej Obradovic who spent years there.

Between 1920 and 1943 the nuns of the monasteries were almost all from Russia, as they had to flew during October Revolution.
In front of the entrance of the monastery is the thomb of Mother Jekaterina which was the head of the monastery of Hopovo. She was Russian and grew up near the House of Romanov family.

The iconosatse suffered damage in the WW2 and the guesthouses of the 17th and 18th century were destroyed. Icons were stolen by the attacking Ustasa regime and the church was set on fire.
The renovation took more than 3 decades. In1990 for the 300-years of Serb migration, the cell of Dositej Obradovic was renovated, a new library was founded and the monastery treasury was renewed.
The monastery in winter (picture by Dejan Knezevic)

When you approach the Monastery, the church is hidden behind the walls.

 The monastery church (photo by Paolo)

The facade of the church entirely built in bricks is structured by two cornices and ends with a row of blind arches. The narthex (entrance hall) has a barrel vault and over the naos (the main hall) is a richly panted cross-vault with an also richly painted cupola. What is also very beautiful is the terracotta floor of the naos.

Novo Hopovo was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1990, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.

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