Our Lady of Ljeviš

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Mother of God Ljeviška
Богородица Љевишка
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
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance  Serbia
Designated 1990
Style Serbo-Byzantine style
Materials stone

Eparchy of Raška and Prizren

Official name Medieval Monuments in Kosovo
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii, iv
Designated 2004 (28th session)
Reference no. 724
Region Europe and North America
State party Serbia
Extensions 2006
Type Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance
Designated 1947
Reference no. СК 1369[1]

Mother of God Ljeviška (Serbian: Богородица Љевишка/Bogorodica Ljeviška) 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 Mother of God Ljeviška 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.[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 of its construction material, specifically valuable lead has repeatedly been stolen from the roof.[5]


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Notes and references[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 been recognised as an independent state by 109 out of 193 United Nations member states.

  1. ^ Monuments of Culture in Serbia: ЦРКВА БОГОРОДИЦЕ ЉЕВИШКЕ (SANU) (Serbian) (English)
  2. ^ Curcic, Slobodan (2005). Judson J. Emerick, ed. "Renewed from the Very Foundations": The Question of the Genesis of the Bogorodica Ljeviska in Prizren. Archaeology in architecture: studies in honor of Cecil L. Striker. von Zabern. p. 23. ISBN 9783805334921. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  3. ^ For details and photos see here: http://www.spc.rs/eng/prizren_our_lady_ljevis_xiv_century_burnt_inside_photo_2232004
  4. ^ and here: "Around 900 houses and 35 churches and monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church were set on fire, including mediaeval holy sites such as the Church of Our Lady of Ljevis in Prizren which dates back to the 14th century." http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/52282.htm
  5. ^ "Church roof stolen in Prizren, Bishop Protests". OCP Media Network. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 

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