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Crna Reka Monastery

05. May 2012. | 09:20

Source: Emg.rs

Author: N.D.A Arvanites

Crna Reka Monastery is situated in Ibarski Kolasin area comprising the tiny ancient Cave-church dedicated to the Archangel Michael with the frescoes from the end of the 16th century.

Crna Reka Monastery is situated in Ibarski Kolasin area comprising the tiny ancient Cave-church dedicated to the Archangel Michael with the frescoes from the end of the 16th century.

In Crna Reka Monastery are kept the Holy relics of Saint Peter of Korisha who was hermit in the village of Korisa near Prizren. Crna Reka Monastery is a hermitage in the midst of the south Serbian mountains /Mokra Gora Mountain/ situated in the gorge of the Black River.

Crna Reka Monastery lies at the crossroad between Kosovska Mitrovica, Rozaje /Montenegro/ and Novi Pazar, within the area of Ribarice village, 310 km south of Belgrade.

Crna Reka Monastery is located in inaproachable setting of high rocks within intact nature, steep mountain sides and lush vegetation of hundred years old oak forests. Due to its unique architecture Crna Reka Monastery is considered as one of the most beautiful cave-church in Serbia.

Crna Reka Monastery dates from the 13th century when a small church only three meters wide and six meters long dedicated to the Holy Archangel Michael was built in a big cave. It is one nave church with semicircle apse both from the outside and inside. Naos /central part/ of the church is vaulted with semi-circle vault of stone.

Between the altar and the naos there are pilasters that carry supporting arch. Soon the monks hermits built their cells around the church and erected a small draw bridge over the drybed of the Black River what resulted in the unique cave church on four levels. By a great blessing of God the Black River disappears underground just in front of the monastery and reappears after several hundred meters of its underground flow and thus spares the monastery from the noise.

The greatest treasure of the Crna Reka monastery are the holy and incorruptible relics of Saint Peter of Korisha, afamous Serbian ascetic from the 13th century who lived near Prizren. Even today numerous pilgrims come to the monastery of Crna Reka to seek healing and relief and spiritual consolidation from this great miracle-worker.

In the 15th century Crna Reka Monastery was home for a time to a famous hesychast St. Ioanichios, who with his monks later moved to the area of today's Devic Monastery in Kosovo and Metohija.

The cave church of Crna Reka Monastery was fresco-painted by master Longin at the end of the 16th century. Frescoes of Crna Reka Monastery are painted in bright and strong colors and are considered as the art -work of great quality. Crna Reka Monastery was deserted for a long time. It was only in 1979 that Fr. Artemy came to live there and gathered around himself a young brotherhood. After his election as Bishop he took several monks and renewed other monasteries of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren.

Today there are several brethren in the monastery of Crna Reka who occupy themselves with prayer, icon painting and wood carving. In spite of its monumental archihecture and religious significance, Monastery of Crna Reka was hidden as the ascetic hermitage for public, known mostly to scholars and travelling visitors.

Today, when the bridge over the Ribaric Lake /Gazivode Lake/ has been built and the approaching road has been reconstructed, the Crna Reka Monastery, beeing the unique pearl of the Serbian medieval culture, comes to its real value and popularity, after more than 700 years of silence. The new Martyr - Father Hariton - who was brutally assasinated in Prizren by Albanian extremists in 1999 was buried in the Monastery of Crna Reka.


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