When the first Serbian king Stefan Nemanja, at the beginning of XIII century, decided to build a monastery, he didn’t know that he will build one of the most beautiful monasteries in Europe and the symbol of royal Serbian dynasty Nemanjić. In that period Serbia was a very strong country with smart kings, and, in my opinion, that was the golden age of the Serbian country. That golden age lasted until the end of 14th century, when Ottomans conquered Serbia. Žiča is one of many, but probably the most important Serbian monastery that is located inside Serbian borders. Also, this monastery was the seat of the Archbishop from 1219 to 1253.
The Symbol of a Golden Age
There is no man, woman or child in Serbia that hasn’t visit Monastery Žiča at least once. Žiča is located in the central-west Serbia, near the city of Kraljevo, and it has a really big importance for Serbs. Let’s go back to the beginning of 13th century. After the King Stefan Nemanja’s decision to build the Žiča monastery, his son Saint Sava did everything he could to make the place the center of the newly-founded Serbian Orthodox Church. Serbs had always been believers and defenders of Orthodox Christianity and, for Serbs of that period, building monasteries represented king’s wishes to be closer to God and population loved that. Therefore, it is no wonder that every king, or ruler, from dynasty of Nemanjić had built at least one monastery. This monastery was especially important for dynasty Nemanjić, because, traditionally, Žiča was the church for the coronations of the Serbian kings from dynasty Nemanjjić. Only a true king could be anointed in the Žiča monastery. This holy place for Serbs had been destroyed by the Tatars during the last decade of 13th century, but King Milutin, also from dynasty Nemanjić, renewed it at the beginning of 14th century.
Jewel of the Serbian Kings Valley
As a symbol of Serbian nation, monastery Žiča has been destroyed several times. Like every invader, the Turks, Austrians and Germans tried to break our spirit by destroying Žiča, but they didn’t succeed in doing that, as Serbs always found a way to renew one of the most important monasteries in our history. That shows the unbreakable Serbian spirit and the fact that we never forget our ancestors and what they did for us. In my opinion, Žiča is the real jewel that is located in Serbian valley of the kings.
This jewel of Serbian history and culture is located in Serbian valley of the kings and remind us that we are successors of a once powerful medieval country. Serbs always try to renew Žiča, not because it is a symbol of the Serbian golden age, but for some other generations and some future golden age. We can’t ask anybody to respect us if we do not respect ourselves, and we do it in order to save our monuments and stories from our past. Serbian nation has a lot of things to be proud and Žiča monastery is one of them.