Page 232 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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 Gojko Subotić
war. in addition to the large Church of the Holy archan- gels, residential quarters, library and other buildings, with- in the Monastery there was another, smaller church, the Chapel of St. Nicholas. in the Monastery Charter one can read that a separate building within the complex was des- ignated as the infirmary. The monumental refectory was cross-shaped with an apse on the eastern side. a bridge across the Bistrica River connected the Monastery with Dušan’s castle at Ribnik and the royal palace in Prizren.
Holy archangels was a great imperial pious endow- ment, lavishly decorated with rich materials. although the name and origin of the main architect are unknown, it is almost certain that a building of such harmonious propor- tion and shape and such exquisite workmanship could only have been the work of an architect who had fully mastered the experience of the architects of Constantinople archi- tects in spatial exposition and wedded it to the Mediter- ranean, Romanesque-Gothic sensibility in the use of stone. in Holy archangels we appear to have the full flowering of the long-awaited synthesis of religious art forms of the eu- ropean east and West which matured in the Raška school, on the one hand, and in the monuments of Kosovo-Meto- hija and Macedonia, on the other.
Monastery Churches
The main church, dedicated to the Holy archangels Mi- chael and Gabriel, was a monumental structure (28.5 me- ters x 16.75 meters) with a foundation in shape of an in- scribed cross but with somewhat narrower lateral naves, which was not typical in churches of this kind. On the east- ern side were three apses: the middle one was wider and externally in the shape of a pentagon and the lateral ones were smaller and externally in the shape of a triangle. a large dodecagonal dome 6.4 meters in diameter rested on four arches supported by four pillars. On the western side there was a narthex with five vaults partially closed by par- apet plates and architecturally decorated. The façades were covered with white and red marble and divided in three levels by decorated stone wreaths. inside the church stood a marble iconostasis and a lavish floor quite famous through- out medieval europe; in the narthex, it was of white and blue tiles and in the nave of stone reliefs with mosaic tiles inserted between them. in addition to complex geometric motives, mythical animals, griffons, lions, birds and fish were depicted on these floor mosaics. The interior of the church was painted with frescos and the capitals, portals, windows and church furniture were richly decorated with plastic art sculptures. The area around the emperor’s tomb

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