Our Lady of Ljeviš

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Our Lady of Ljeviš, Mother of God
Богородица Љевишка
Bogorodica Ljeviska1.jpg
Overview of the church, 1980
Coordinates: 42°12′41″N 20°44′09″E / 42.21139°N 20.73583°E / 42.21139; 20.73583
Location Prizren, Kosovo[a]
Denomination Serbian Orthodox
Founded 1306–1307
Founder(s) Stephen Uroš II Milutin of Serbia
Dedication Theotokos
Status Church
Mosque (formerly)
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance
Designated 1990
Style Serbo-Byzantine style
Materials Stone

Eparchy of Raška and Prizren

Type Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance
Designated 1947
Reference no. СК 1369[1]
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name Medieval Monuments in Kosovo
Criteria Cultural: (ii), (iii), (iv) Edit this on Wikidata
Reference 724-003bis
Inscription 2004 (28th Session)
Extensions 2006
Endangered 2006–

Our Lady of Ljeviš (Serbian: Богородица Љевишка, Bogorodica Ljeviška; Albanian: Kisha e Shën Premtës) is a 14th-century Serbian Orthodox church in the town of Prizren, located in southern Kosovo. It was converted to a mosque during the Ottoman Empire and then back into a church in the early 20th century.


The construction of the church was commissioned in 1306–9 by Serbian King Stefan Milutin.[2] It was built on the site of the ruins of an earlier Byzantine church, whose original name Metera Eleousa was preserved in Slavic as Bogorodica Ljeviška.

In 1990 Serbia designated it a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance, and on 13 July 2006, it was placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List as an extension of the Visoki Dečani site (named Medieval Monuments in Kosovo), which, as a whole, was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Church was guarded by KFOR after June 1999. However, it was heavily damaged by arson during the 2004 unrest in Kosovo. Around 35 Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries have been destroyed or damaged, usually by arson, including medieval holy sites.[3][4]

A group of experts sponsored by Serbia has visited the church on several occasions to assess the damage, but no concrete steps have been taken. The church is subject to constant looting -- even construction material, specifically lead, have repeatedly been stolen from the roof.[5]


Further reading[edit]


^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 112 out of 193 United Nations member states.


Further reading[edit]

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