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The Cathedral of the Mother of God of Ljeviša
  Saint Paul the Apostle, intrados of the entrance to the naos, Church of the Mother of God of Ljeviša, 1308–1314
Saint Barbara, fourth south pillar of the naos Church of the Mother of God of Ljeviša, 1308–1314
longed. in the same way, they are referring to earlier pe- riods sometimes echo relations and phenomena belong- ing to the when they originate.
as other churches which were first devastated and then restored to serve the needs of the islamic confession, the Ljeviša Mother of God preserved only fragments of the stone ornamentation from former times. Nonetheless, it was admired for its structural beauty and for the still un- covered wall-paintings by Christians and Muslims alike. One of the latter, a lover of poetry and perhaps himself a poet, carved next to one of the paintings the first part of a couplet by the great Persian poet Hafiz: “The pupil of my eye is your nest.”
The wealth of ritual objects, primarily icons, ancient furnishings, holy vessels and textiles most likely date back in the cathedral to the time when the Greek bishop, sub- ordinate to the archbishop of Ohrid, sat on the throne. The church’s treasury was doubtlessly enhanced in the 13th century, particularly when the earlier Byzantine edi- fice was rebuilt and its façades re-faced by King Milutin. We do not know from which epoch the “Miraculous Vis- age of the Virgin immaculate” mentioned by King Stefan Dečanski in his charter to the Mother of God of Ljeviša (1326), actually dates. it is possible that it belonged to the earliest history of the church which received gifts at a later time as well, especially when the Prizren episcopate was raised to the rank of Metropolitanate in 1346.
in the meanwhile, in Kosovo and Metohija other shrines, even more splendid, were raised, which, favored by des- tiny, attest with their preserved ambience and collections to the character of the royal endowments of the age.
The Sacred Land: Art of Kosovo,
The Monacelli Press 1997, pp. 26–27 and 63–80. 119

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