The temple of St. Sava is the largest Serbian orthodox temple and the biggest orthodox temple in the Balkans. It is also one of the biggest orthodox churches in the world. The temple is located on the St. Sava square, on the Vracar plateau. Vracar is one of 17 municipality of Belgrade. The name is derived from the word Vrac which means healer, sorcerer. In the past in this area lived people who healed with traditional medicine and charms.
The temple is built on the place, where Sinan-pasha, Turkish military commander, has supposedly burned on the stakes holy remains of St. Sava, in 1595. as a punishment for Serbian people who rebelled against the Turks in the Vojvodina plain. Some scholars believed that burning happened in the Tashmajdan park on the elevation so that flame could be seen across the Danube, where rebelled Serbs lived.
The building of the temple started in the 1936. and it was interrupted during WWII and in the post war years due to communism. In the 1985. the building is continued, but in the next years started new crises, Yugoslavia fell apart, war started, sanctions … Continuation of the building started in the 2000. and it is still in progress. Financing of the construction is only by the donation of believers, so the temple represents the endowment of the whole Serbian people.
The temple is projected in Serbian-Byzantine style of architecture, with 4 bell towers, 44m high. The height from the ground to the dome is 65 m and the cross is 12m high. The dome is weighting 4000 T. In total, the temple is 79 m high. Since it is built on elevated ground together with its height it has a prominent place in the skyline of the city and it is visible from all entrances to the city. The temple occupies 3500m2 in the lower floor, plus additional space in the galleries. The length of the axis east-west is 91 m and north-south is 81m. Domes are adorned with 18 gold plated crosses in three sizes, and the bell towers have 49 bells.
The capacity of church is 10000 people. Beneath the floor there are treasury and crypt where Serbian patriarchs will be buried. The temple is covered with white marble and granite, and fresco painting will be done in mosaic technique. In the main dome the fresco of Christ Pantocrator will be depicted. .
From Slavija square take a walk up through Svetog Save street (located between 2 Slavija hotels).