Tentative List of World Cultural Heritage DECANI MONASTERY

Since June 1999, the KLA have repeatedly attacked the monastery.
Last atttack was on February 27, 2000. Monastery brethren reported that six mortar shells exploded within the monastery cortyard. Fortunately, the church was not damaged this time.

The Decani monastery was inscribed on the
Tentative List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
in 1994, according to the UNESCO criteria for cultural property.

 


Monastery church from the southwest 1327-1335

 


West portal of the church 1327-1335

 

The Monastery is the endowment and mausoleum of the King Stephen Decanski, whose son Dusan continued works on it after his father's death. The catholicon dedicated to Christ Pantocrator was built by Father Vita from Kotor between 1327 and 1335, who disguised the ground plan and structure of an Orthodox temple in a Romanesque rendition of the facades with many sculpted ornaments. The frescoes have been almost completely preserved and contain over 1000 individual figures and scenes grouped into over twenty cycles representing the largest preserved source of data on Byzantine iconography. Especially interesting is a series of historical portraits and iconography of the ruling dynasty. The iconostasis with the throne icons is original as are most of the church's mobile property. The Decani Treasury is the richest in Serbia with about 60 icons from the 14th century to the 17th century, old manuscripts and other liturgical objects. Unlike the church, almost all the other buildings of the monastery have lost their original appearance. Conservation works in the whole complex have been going on since the 1930s on a continuous basis, primarily involving the occasional cleaning of the frescoes and repairs of the substantially damaged stone facade and sculpted stone elements. In 1994, the monument was nominated for inscription on the List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

 

Fresco paintings in the monastery church 1335