Krka monastery

Krka Monastery (Croatian: Samostan Krka, Serbian: Манастир Крка or Manastir Krka) is a Serbian Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Archangel Michael, located near the river Krka, 3 km east of Kistanje, in central Dalmatia, Croatia. It is the best known monastery of the Serb Orthodox Church in Croatia and it is officially protected as part of the Krka National Park.


In 1345, this monastery was mentioned for the first time as the endowment of princess Jelena Šubić (Nemanjić), half-sister of the Serbian emperor Dušan, the wife (and later widow) of Mladen III Šubić, Croatian duke of Skradin and Bribir. This monastery lays above an old Roman site, it is excavated catacombs (Roman burial cites) beneath the church, thus it's a part of a greater historical site..

The church of St. Archangel was erected in 1422 on the location of an earlier Gothic structure. The Turks devastated the church around 1530 but it was restored on several occasions. The monastery buildings (18th-19th century), the church and the bell tower are situated around a rectangular cloister with arcades.

The monks of this monastery in the 17th century were forced to flee from the Ottomans. They found shelter in Zadar, where pope Innocent X in 1655 gave them two churches, that were the ownership of Franciscans of the Third Order, the "Glagolitians" (glagoljaši) . In the later agreement with the Franciscans, monastery monks declared that they "live in the service of the Greek Church, the old illyrian or Croatian language."

The last destruction in the history of the monastery happened after Operation Storm in 1995 when the monastery was looted by Croatian para-militaries and the seminary shut down. Some of the damage has since been repaired, and the seminary reopened in 2001, but the priceless stolen property of prominent cultural heritage hasn't been found.

Architectural features

The belltower of this monastery was built in the Romanesque style. The complex also includes a chapel of Saint Sava built in the 19th century, as well as the new building of the seminary and an additional dormitory building. The monastery has its archives and a library with a variety of ancient books and valuable items from the 16th to the 20th century, a collection of icons (painting on wood St. John the Baptist from the 14th or 15th century, work by the so-called Master of the Tkon Crucifix), silverware and embroideries.

Besides the main church, there is a small chapel of St. Sava, which was built by Dalmatian Bishop Stefan Knežević.

  • dr. Marko Japundžić: Tragom hrvatskoga glagolizma, KS, Zagreb, 1995., p. 51-54, 978-953-151-060-1
  • Mato Marčinko: Novi velikosrpski memorandum nazvan Deklaracija, feuilleton in Politički zatvorenik magazine, nr. 64/65 Jul/Aug 1997 - nr. 86 Aug 1999

Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
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