Page 243 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 243

Velika Hoča
The village of Velika Hoča is located in the pictur- esque hilly area full of vineyards south of Orahovac in Metohija. Hoča was well known in the historical sourc-
es already at the end of the 12th century by its cultivated vineyards and wines. in 1198 Stephen Nemanja donated it to the Hilandar Monastery, emphasizing that he himself established two vineyards. Nemanja’s descendants, Serbi- an kings, confirmed his gift to Hilandar and, at the same time, enlarged the Hoča lands. in the middle age, Velika Hoča developed into a strong economic and important spir- itual center. The sources mention its 12 churches: St. Nich- olas from the 14th century, St. john from the 14th century, St. Stephen from the 14th century renewed in the 16th and 19th centuries, St. Kyriake renewed in the 19th century, St. Paraskeve rebuilt in the 20th century, St. anne rebuilt in 1912, ruins of the church of St. Luke from the 16th century renewed in 1985; the following churches are preserved in ruins: Holy archangels from the 16th century, St. Peter from the 16th century, Mother of God the Most Pure (Prečista), St. eliah; a church at Dugi Rid is also mentioned in the folk tradition. The monumental wine cellar of the Dečani Mon- astery, with its vineyards in Hoča ever since the time of emperor Dušan, is in the Dečani quarter in the center of village. The ground floor of this exceptional achievement of the folk architecture contains cellars with barrels which are 5 m high and 4 m wide. The upper floor with a long wooden trench has rooms for the rest of winegrowers.
Church of Saint john
The church of Saint john is located on the elevation near the eastern entrance in Velika Hoča. it was probably built in the 14th century which is confirmed only by fragments of frescos from that time. architecturally unusual, the church has the shape of tetrakonhos with square narthex. Lateral apses are lower than the ones on the east and west. Naos and narthex are covered with semi-oval vault. The apses are polygonal from outside and semi-circular inside. in the 1580s, the church was repainted. The altar area has the paintings of Mother of God, Liturgy of archpriests, Com- munion of apostles and annunciation, while in the first zone standing saints are painted and in the narrow column above them there are down-to-the-waist representations. The cycles of Great Feasts, Passion of Christ and akathist Hymn are painted in higher zones of the temple. icono- graphic contents of the paintings in narthex, with the inter- esting choice of scenes, emphasizes the message of prayers to Christ. On the eastern wall of narthex in the Deisis com- position, Virgin Mary and St. john the Baptist address
The Church of Saint John the Baptist, Velika Hoča, 14th–16th century
prayers of the human race to Christ to be a mild judge on the Last judgment painted on the western wall. The por- trait of St. john is painted in the niche above the entrance in naos, while the scenes from his life are illustrated in high- er zones of narthex. Conservation works on the paintings were carried out in 1975.
  View of the south and the west wall of the naos, Church of Saint john, Velika Hoča

   241   242   243   244   245