Manastir Banjska, Crkva Sv. Stefana, Манастир Бањска, Црква Св. Стефана
|Case Study||Beyond East and West: Sacred Landscapes Duklja and Raška|
|Dedication||Saint Stephen — Saint Stephen was one of the fürst deacons and the first martyr of Christianity|
|Evidence||Existing Monument — Something venerated for its enduring historic significance or association with a notable past person or thing.|
|Ground Plans||Single Nave Basilica with a Dome|
|Stylistic Classification||Latin-Byzantine Combination|
|Administrative unit||Serbia , Kosovo|
Banjska Monastery is situated by the Banjska river, near Zvečan in the North of Kosovo. It was built by King Milutin in 1313 to 1315, modelled on Studenica Monastery.
Its a single nave edifice with a dome and tripartite altar space. To the North and South of the central part of the Church are choirs with paracclesions next to each. Narthex has two bell-towers on its Western end.
The Church is rich with Romanesque sculptural decoration (it was probably made by the same artisans who worked in the Chilandar Monastery).The most prominent sculptural decoration is the statue of the Virgin with Christ as a child (kept in the nearby Monastery of Sokolica).
Some frescoes have remained, mostly under the dome.
LiteratureBojović 2007 , Gergova 2007 — 249–272 , Marković 2017a — 53 , Preradović/Milanović 2016 — 108 , Stevović 2016 — 325-326 , Vojvodić 2016c — 271, 274-275, 284 , Vojvodić 2016d — 13-40 , Šuput 2003
|Epitaphios (burial shroud) of King Stefan Uroš II Milutin||Artifact||The burial shroud or epitaphios of King Milutin, from the Museum of Serbian Orthodox Church, is assumed to have been made for the Banjska Monastery, the Mausoleum of King Milutin. It is believed that this shroud (mound-shroud/burial sheet) was created in the first decades of the 14th century (or around 1300, or during the second decade of the 14th century, or immediately after the king's death in 1321). A representation of Christ, as if lying in his tomb, surrounded by angels and seraphims was made on red etles silk and velvet with gold and silver wire and silk threads. The inscription embroidered in the lower section of the shroud is in Slavonic stating that it was commissioned by the Serbian King Stefan Uroš II Milutin: "Remember, O God, the soul of your servant Milutin Uroš. Probably the masters of this mantle were of Greek origin, it is even linked to Constantinople workshops, and it was certainly made according to Byzantine patterns. The shroud of King Milutin is kept in the Museum of Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, no. 4660. Prior to reaching the Museum it was kept in the Krušedol Monastery.|
|Monastery of Banjska, Sculpture of a Bird||Artifact||It cannot be determined with certainty, where the fragmentarily preserved part of the architectural sculptural decoration with the representation of a bird was located within the Church of St. Stephen in the Monastery of Banjska. The shape of the marble fragment suggests the possibility that it was part of an archivolt. Like the rest of the decoration, it is dated around 1315. Today it is kept in the National Museum in Belgrade (no. 26_2180).|
|Monastery of Banjska, Sculpture of the Virgin with Christ (the "Sokolica Virgin")||Artifact||The sculpture of the Virgin with Christ (called "Sokolica Virgin") comes from the Church of St. Stephen in the Monastery of Banjska near Zvečan. The church was built by the Serbian King Stefan Uroš II Milutin (reigned 1282-1321) between 1312 and 1316, when this marble sculpture was made in high relief. Initially, it was painted. The sculpture was placed in the lunette of the inner portal of the Church of St. Stephen, which was built according to the Church of the Virgin in the Monastery of Studenica. The "Sokolica Virgin" bears the characteristics of Romanesque sculptures that rarely adorned monuments in the region of Raška. The sculpture of the Virgin with Christ was found in 1920 in the church of the nearby Monastery of Sokolica, which is why it is called the "Sokolica Virgin". It is still kept in the Monastery of Sokolica.|
|Ring of Stefan Konstantin Nemanjić||Artifact||The seal ring of Stefan Konstantin Nemanjić is a gold ring with a representation of a double-headed eagle, discovered in a tomb of the Church of Saint Stephen in Banjska. According to the latest research, it is believed to have belonged to Konstantin, the younger son of the Serbian King Stefan Uroš II Milutin (reigned 1282-1321) and the brother of the Serbian King Stefan Uroš III Dečanski (reigned 1321-1331). The ring dates back to 1322, when Constantine tragically died under unknown circumstances. This seal ring has a decoration visible in three segments: on the head a double-headed eagle, around the neck an Old Serbian inscription "Ко га носи помози му Бог" ("May God help whoever wears it") and then a decoration along the ring. The skill of the work testifies to a goldsmith who worked in a Romano-Gothic artisan milieu, possibly in Italy. The ring is kept in the National Museum in Belgrade (no. 26_342).|