Koncul Monastery

Sunday September 3rd, 2017 Old Studenica, History, Tourism0

Koncul Monastery which is known among locals as well as “Nikoljaca” is situated at the left bank of the Ibar River, in the vicinity of Raska /3 km/. According to the historical sources, the Koncul Monastery was founded around 1175 by the Great Duke-ruler Stefan Nemanja.

For the first time it was mentioned in the Medieval typich of Studenica Monastery (written between 1207 and 1215) as the “Saint Nicholas Monastery in Kaznovici village”. After its foundation, Koncul Monastery was highly respected and its Abbot participated in the elections of Studenica Monastery Abbot. It is known that Rastko, the youngest son of Stefan Nemanja stayed the first night in Koncul Monastery on his escape to Hilandari Monastery on Mount Athos. Archbishop Danilo II became a monk in the Koncul Monastery. The Abbot of the Koncul Monastery in 1318 took part in the Synod when Nikodim was elected for the Archbishop.

Later the monastery of Koncul became the seat of Koncul or Ibar Bishopric. Koncul Monastery experienced its most prosperous time in the 14th and at the beginning of the 15th century. The period after the descent of Serbian Medieval State in 1459 was hard for Koncul Monastery as well as for the entire Serbian nation. Koncul Monastery was destroyed in Austro-Hungarian War in 1686 and remained ruined until 1861 when its church was reconstructed. The original basic shape of Koncul Monastery was kept : the one-nave structure with semi-circle indoor and outdoor apses at the East side. The church interior is covered by cupola and intersected by columns. The chapel is located at the southern part of the Church of Koncul Monastery.

Frescoes fragments of Koncul Monastery are preserved as well as numerous tombstones with artifacts from the 14th century. The iconostasis of Koncul Monastery is presumably the work of Zivko Pavlovic and dates back from the period after the Medieval times of the Serbian state. Comprehensive archaeological excavations on Koncul Monastery were carried out from 1975 until 1979, since the Koncul Monastery was in conservation process and deserted. Persecuted by Albanians who destroyed Monastery of St. Trinity in Musutiste village in Kosovo and Metochia, nuns led by Abbess Katarina settled here. They reinforced spirituality of this place of worship and started reconstruction works on Koncul Monastery. For the God’s sake the number of sisterhood is increased since that time, and the new dormitory has been built. Workshops of tailoring and machine-embroidery are established as the regular obedience of nuns of the Koncul Monastery, as well as the icon-painting classes and manuscript hand-writing.