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King Milutin’s Church and
Its Architecture UNeSCO WORLD HeRiTaGe SiTe
Slobodan Ćurčić
The church of the Dormition of the Mother of God is the only surviving structure of the medieval mon-
asteryofGračanica. Surroundedbymodernmonas-
tic buildings, the church is situated in the village of Gra- čanica, in the Plain of Kosovo, nine kilometers from Pri- ština.2 The modern asphalt road from Priština to Grača- nica roughly coincides with the medieval road which once linked Priština, a major medieval urban center of Serbia, with Gračanica, and further with Novo Brdo, Serbia’s prin- cipal medieval mining center.
Gračanica is probably the most frequently photo- graphed monument of medieval Serbia. its picturesque five-domed form has been exploited visually for endless purposes from the most trivial product advertisements to the sophisticated tourist posters and calendars-yet it re- mains an essentially little-known building. in fact, Gra- čanica is the only major church of medieval Serbia with- out a scholarly monograph. Current basic scholarly knowl- edge about Gračanica rests largely on the pioneering work of Gabriel Millet.3 The elementary state of knowledge of Gračanica’s architecture is obvious in general works on
1 Hereafter the name “Gračanica” will refer to the church itself unless otherwise specified.
2 The location of Gračanica is frequently confused with a town of the same name in eastern Bosnia. Unfortunately, this error has gained currency by having appeared recently in several general works on Byzantine art: David Talbot Rice, Art of the Byzantine Era (New York, 1963), map on pp. 12–13 (this particular map contains several other errors); john Beckwith, Early Christian and Byzantine Art (Baltimore, 1970), map preceding p. 1; Wolfgang Fritz Volbach and jacqueline Lafontaine Dosogne, eds., Byzanz und der Christliche Osten, Propyläen Kunstgeschichte No 3 (Berlin, 1968), map on pp. 152–53.
3 Gabriel Millet, L’ancien art serbe: les Églises (Paris, 1919), pp. 102–6. 131
 Church of the Mother of God, northwest view, Gračanica

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