Ston, Church of St. Michael, relief decoration

Begin 01.01.1040
End 31.12.1050
ID 132774
System Class
Artifact Church Furnishing
Case Study Beyond East and West: Sacred Landscapes Duklja and Raška
Stylistic Classification Pre-Romanesque

Within the church of St. Michael in Ston, several original pieces of architectural decoration and church furnishing, dated in the 11th century, have been preserved. All openings of the early medieval building that have been preserved indicate the pre-Romanesque bas-relief style of their frames and the early medieval frescoes in the interior, which harmonize the composition with the arrangement of the windows.
The relief decoration was made in the pre-Romanesque style (some of the researchers Jurković and Tomas recognize two chronological layers of the sculpture).
The lintel, used in a secondary function as a tombstone, is decorated with three crosses, connected to each other by a two-bar braid; the upper field is filled with an inscription, which has been interpreted and dated differently in historiography. B. Gabričević recognized the verse in the inscription:
Among the fragments of liturgical furniture, the remains of the altar screen and ciborium can be recognized.


Places (1)
Name Class Begin End Description
Ston, Church of St. Michael Place between 01.01.1040 and 31.12.1040 between 01.01.1050 and 31.12.1050 The Church of Saint Michael the Archangel in Ston was probably erected by Prince Stefan Vojislav, the archont of the Serbs and a Terbounian Serb (reigned ca. 1037-1050), in the first half of the 11th century. The church is situated on top of the hill named Gradac and it might have served as a palace church. Its a rectangular, single-nave building, which is divided with composite pilasters into three bays (the middle one has a blind dome, while Eastern and Western have groin vaults) and a bell-tower situated on its Western side. The altar apse is semicircular inside and rectangular on the outside. The exterior is decorated with lesenes and niches, while door frames and stone window have low-relief decoration. Fresco decoration has been severely damaged but we can still recognize its iconographical programme. Certainly the most significant is the fresco decoration of the ktetor who is holding a model of the church and along with Latin inscriptions we can conclude that the paintings are of Western pre-Romanesque and Byzantine influence finished probably around 1050 (for sure until 1081).