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11 Oct 13

Exhibition Honours Serbian Hero Stefan Nemanja

The National Museum of Serbia is showing medieval frescoes and other historical relics from the 12th Century era of Stefan Nemanja and his ruling dynasty.

BIRN Belgrade
A13th century church painting of Stefan Nemanja in Studenica | Photo: Wikimedia Commons                      

The exhibition at the National Museum in Belgrade commemorates nine centuries since the birth of Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the ruling Nemanjic dynasty and the powerful Serbian medieval state which would gradually evolve into an empire.

On display alongside the frescoes are objects from the 12th century necropolis found in the medieval city of Ras, two rare leaden seals, and the Gospel of Miroslav, the oldest surviving document written in the South Slav language.

Stefan Nemanja’s life from 1113 to 1200 left deep traces in Serbian culture, religion, education and art.

He was one of the founders of the Serbian Orthodox Church, built important monasteries at Hilandar on Mount Athos and Studenica in central Serbia, and was pronounced a saint just a year after his death.

His decision to step down from the throne willingly and to take up the life of a monk, along with his political achievements, made him important to generations of Serbs.

The exhibition at the National Museum also focuses on the lives of his descendants, St Sava (Rastko Nemanjic), the first archbishop, and Stefan Nemanjic, the first king of Serbia.

The Gospel of Miroslav, written by Stefan Nemanja’s brother, is a part of UNESCO-protected cultural heritage but hasn't been on display since 2006.

The exhibition is being held in National Museum’s gallery, which has been renovated, although most of the rest of the building on Trg Republike is still closed, as it has been since 2003.

‘Vows and Messages. Stefan Nemanja - Nine Centuries’ will be open until February 23, 2014.


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