The ruins of the Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery, the endowment of the Great Zupan (ruler) Stefan Nemanja lie on the top of a woody elevation overlooking the panorama of the city of Novi Pazar. The complex comprising the Church of St.George, the refectory, dormitories, the water tanks and walls with the entry tower, was built in the 8th decade of the 12th century. The external appearance of this single-nave temple with a tripartite sanctuary, a nave with lateral vestibules and a narthex, flanked by two towers, emanates a spirit of western Romanesque building.
The frescoes, today for the most part damaged, and partly transferred to the National Museum in Belgrade, are rendered in the best tradition of the Comnenus style and skillfully adapted to the architecture of the temple, which is especially pronounced in the all-embracing cupola with an elliptic basis. With the addition of the apse on the eastern side in 1282/83, the entry tower was transformed into a chapel and the tomb of King Dragutin. In addition to painting frescoes depicting historical scenes in the interior of the chapel, the work carried out on the monastery at the end of the 18th century also included the building of a new refectory, dormitories and paintings in the narthex of the catholicon. The decline of this complex began in Turkish times, culminating in the wars waged during this century. Archaeological and restoration works were carried out between 1960 and 1982 and as part of the Stari Ras and Sopocani complex, it has been on the World Heritage List since 1979.
The suystematic reconstruction of the entire monastery compound began in spring 2001. Bishop Artemije has already sent three monks to Djurdjevi Stupovi to overlook the reconstruction. In the first phase only the dormitories and a chapel will be built. Later, it is expected that the church will finally be reconstructed according to already existing projects.
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