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Churchs Fortresses

Monastery Podostrog

Podostrog monastery is built two kilometers from Budva, at the edge of a field, on land raised sufficiently so that from the monastery one can see the whole bay of Budva . Known as one of Njegos's favourite places, the large complex was built in two stages. A small, older church, with frescoes, dates from the 16th or 17th century. It is incorporated in a two-story building serving as the monks' residence. The ground floor of this building served as a work area, while the upper floor had rooms for sleeping with a large terrace looking out towards the sea, allegedly built at Njegos's request. The monastery was protected by a defense wall and tower. Separate from this complex is a larger church, built by two Montenegrin bishops Sava and Vasilije, in the mid- 17th century.

Monastery Praskvica

The best known and most often cited in the history of Pastrovici district is Praskvica monastery. It's located above the Milocer beach and the highway. It consists of the monastery proper: a large church dedicated to St. Nicholas and the monks' quarters, and a small church honouring the Holy Trinity, at a short distance from the mononastery. Today the main feature of the monastery is its large church built in 1847. This simple single-nave building with a semicircular apse on the east has a central octagonal dome supported by rib vaulting. Gothic details are also found on the facades. Obviously that here too worked builders working in the spirit of neo-Gothic concepts. This church was built on the site of an endowment erected by Balsa III, ruler of Zeta, in 1413. Inside one can see parts of the north wall of Balsa's church, from the altar apse to the narthex. The north wall of the new church rests on the old foundations. The builders of Balsa's church were inspired by 13th-century Serbian architecture: a single-nave building with a semicircular apse on the east and rectangular choir apses in the middle, covered with a barrel vault. The church may have had a central dome, though remnants of the surviving wall do not indicate a proper sub domical structure. The monks' residence is a fairly large building, constructed in at least two stages, the oldest, according to tradition, dating from Balsa's time.
The small church dedicated to the Holy Trinity is a simple, single-nave building with a semicircular apse on the east, covered with a barrel vault, its date of construction unknown. On its walls there are frescoes dating from the 17th century. Near the church there is a small, one-story building which once accommodated a well-known monastery school.

Monastery Rezevici

A large monks' residence and the tall bell-tower behind it give Rezevici monastery the aspect of a real monastery complex. It is located above a cove known as Perazica Do, a growing tourist centre at these days. The larger church, completed in 1814, has one nave with lateral choir apses, evidence of a return to traditional 13th-century Serbian architecture, while its upper structure has Gothic elements, also visible on the bell-tower, completed in 1839. Renovation was obviously done under neo-Gothic influence. The large monks' residence was built in two stages: the more recent, western part, finished in 1851, with its portico facing the church resembles a Catholic cloister.
According to oral tradition the monastery dates from the Middle Ages. Remnants of a small medieval church, dedicated to St. Stephen, were incorporated into the monks' residence. Also of medieval origins is the church of the Ascend of the Virgin, a single nave, vaulted, with a semicircular apse on the east. This church as well, was renovated during the 19th century and enlarged at the west end.

Monastery Duljevo

Duljevo monastery perches on a mountain plateau northeast of Milocer. Cited in several historical documents, the monastery where Arsenije Carnojevic entered monastic order, it was built, according to the oral tradition, during the reign of Emperor Dusan. According to the same tradition it was an estate belonging to Decani monastery. Discoveries after the earth-quake indicate that oral tradition was probably based on true fact. The monastery consists of a church and quarters for the monks. The church has two parts, an older, eastern part and a much more recent addition enlarging the space for the congregation. The church itself, dating from the 14th century, is a single-nave construction with a semicircular apse on the east and slightly pointed vaulting. Originally it had a narrow window in the apse and two similar side windows, two pilasters on the lateral walls joined by supporting arches, a characteristic design for small medieval churches in the Budva region beginning with St. Sava's in Budva.
The abandoned, older monastic residence at Duljevo exhibits features of the old Pastrovici houses: square floor plan, low ceilings, thick walls and small windows resembling loopholes from the outside. The new part of the monks' lodging is a two-story building of simple architecture adapted to a more modern way of life. It served as a school.

Monastery Podlastva

Podlastva monastery is situated on the northwest rim of the Budva municipality. On a carefully selected site, it was built on a height overlooking the valley extending to the beach of Jaz to the northwest. Archaeological discoveries indicate that there was a place of worship here in late antiquity. The existing church is rectangular building, vaulted, with a semicircular apse and two pairs of lateral pilasters joined by supporting arches. Judging by the design and type of construction, the church was built during the Middle Ages. It was later extended on the west with a lower addition. The monks' quarters (konak) have all the requisite chambers - a refectory, sleeping rooms, a work area - of simple design, with a porch added to the facade facing the church. Its location, several periods of construction frescoes, art objects, and also its turbulent history make Podlastva an important monument.

Monastery Gradiste

Gradiste monastery was built on a small rise above the main road to Bar, a site commanding a view of the long Buijarica beach. Judging by its present state Gradiste is like all the other monasteries in the Budva region. Of interest is its most recent church, dedicated to St. Sava. It was built as a single-nave, vaulted structure with a semicircular eastern apse, its facades consisting of rows of well-cut red and white stone, which suggests that it was the result of the same concepts evident in the churches of the Holy Trinity in Budva and the Holy Mother of God in Podostrog. Only a dome is missing at Gradiste. The bell-tower above the west wall was built in 1853, the church itself probably not much older.
As legend has it, Gradiste was founded a very long time ago. On the monastery land stands an old church dedicated to St. Nicholas - a single-nave, vault structure with an eastern semicircular apse. It was rebuilt on two occasions. The inside walls are covered with frescoes dating from the early 17th century. Also belonging to the monastery complex is a large monks' residence, the ground floor serving as a work area, upstairs chambers where the monks lived. Outside the monastery complex is a small single-nave, vaulted church with frescoes from the early 17th century.

Monastery Stanjevici

This monastery, as well as many other properties and the Monastery Podostrog, belongs to the Monastery of Cetinje. It is situated in a docile surrounding of Budva, in the center of four other municipalities, the ancient Donje Zete (Maina, Pobora, Brajica i Grblja), inhabitet mostly by the orthodoxies.
Montenegrin bishops, especially those from the Petrovic family, were conscious of the significance that those two monasteries had. For decades, all bishop's duties were carried out here, beginning with the Divine service, ordaining of priests (Dositej Obradovic in 1764, archimandrite Bishop Dalmatian Genadij Vasiljevic, Bishop Stevan Ljubobratovic, Bishop Sava Petrovic etc).
Monastery Stanjevici was a political and spiritual center of the Bishop Vasilije Petrovic. Bishop Sava spend his long, though not so fruitful life in Stanjevici, where he died in 1781. In this monastery Bishop Petar I Petrovic spent the main and most interesting part of his life. He started writing here and the major part of his Constitution from 1798. has been written in his cell in the Stanjevici monastery.



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