|Full name||Манастир - Жича|
|Dedicated to||Christ the Pantocrator|
|Diocese||Eparchy of Žiča|
|Important associated figures||Stefan Milutin|
|Location||Trg Jovana Sarića 1, Kraljevo, Serbia|
Žiča (Serbian Cyrillic: Жича, pronounced [ʒîtʃa] or [ʒîːtʃa]) is an early 13th-century Serb Orthodox monastery near Kraljevo, Serbia. The monastery, together with the Church of the Holy Dormition, was built by the first King of Serbia, Stefan the First-Crowned and the first Head of the Serbian Church, Saint Sava.
Žiča was the seat of the Archbishop (1219–1253), and by tradition the coronational church of the Serbian kings, although a king could be crowned in any Serbian church, he was never considered a true king until he was anointed in Žiča.
Founding of Serbian Church
Rastko Nemanjić, the son of Stefan Nemanja, ruled as Grand Prince of Hum 1190-1192, previously held by Grand Prince Miroslav. In the autumn of 1192 (or shortly thereafter) Rastko joins a Russian monks and travels to Mount Athos where he takes monastic vows and spends several years, in 1195 his father joined him, and together they founded the Chilandar, as the base of Serbian religion. His father dies in Hilandar on February 13, 1199, he is canonised, as Saint Simeon. Rastko built a church and cell at Karyes, where he stayed for some years, becoming a Hieromonk, then an Archimandrite in 1201. He writes the Karyes Typicon during his stay there.
He returns to Serbia in 1207, taking the remains of his father with him, which he relocates to the Studenica monastery, after reconcileing Stefan II with Vukan, who had earlier been in a successation feud (civil war). Stefan II asks him to remain in Serbia with his clerics, which he does, starting a widespread pastoral and educational duty to the people of Serbia. He founds several churches and monasteries, among them the Žiča monastery.
It was founded by King Stefan Prvovenčani and Saint Sava, in the Rascian architectural style, in 1207 or shortly thereafter. It was built with help of Greek masters. The red color of the exterior walls is a symbol of the blood of the martyrs of the early Christian church.
Archimandrite Rastko (future Saint Sava) brings the regal crown from Rome, crowning his older brother Stefan Prvovenčani "King of All Serbia" in the Žiča monastery in 1217. In 1219, the Serbian Church gains autocephaly, by Emperor Theodore I Laskaris and Patriarch Manuel I of Constantinople, Sava becomes the first Archbishop. The monastery acts as the seat of the Archbishop of all Serbian lands.
When Serbia was invaded by Hungary, Saint Sava sent Arsenije I Sremac to find a safer place in the south to establish a new episcopal See. In 1253 the see was transferred to the Archbishopric of Peć (future Patriarchate) by Arsenije. The Serbian primates had since moved between the two.
After the First Serbian Uprising, the Ottomans destroyed the monastery.
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Frescoes depicting Pantocrator.
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- Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance
- Tourism in Serbia
- There is a village near the Greek city of Ioannina (NW Greece, region of Epirus), also named Zitsa. It was founded during the Late Middle Ages, probably when the Serbs had gained a short-lived control over the Despotate of Epirus, and historians believe that it was named after the monastery.
- Aerial video of Žiča
- Pravopisna komisija, ed. (1960). "Žiča". Pravopis srpskohrvatskoga književnog jezika (Fototipsko izdanje 1988 ed.). Novi Sad, Zagreb: Matica srpska, Matica hrvatska. p. 288.
- Spomenici kulture, entry 548
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- A. P. Vlasto, The entry of the Slavs into Christendom, p. 222 and 233
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- Serbia: the history behind the name, p. 11
- Radivoje Ljubinković, The Church of the Apostles in the Patriarchate of Peć, p. viii
- "Singers in Late Byzantine and Slavonic Painting: - Neil K. Moran - Google Boeken". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "The Kariya Djami - Paul A. Underwood - Google Boeken". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- (In Greek) Stephanos Pappas, Formation and Evolution of Communities, Municipalities and the Prefecture of Ioannina, 2004. Original title: Στέφανος Παππάς, Σύσταση και Διοικητική Εξέλιξη των Κοινοτήτων, των Δήμων & του Νομού Ιωαννίνων, λήμμα Δήμος Ζίτσας. Έκδοση ΤΕΔΚ Νομού Ιωαννίνων, 2004, ISBN 960-88395-0-5