Page 545 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 545

 Kmetovce, remnants of Saint Barbara Church (Saint Demetrius), 14th century
Historic Monuments of Serbia: Kosovo and Metohija
examples of late Byzantine architecture was created, name- ly the magnificent church of the Gračanica monastery with its wall paintings which are the last works of the master fresco painters of the Renaissance during the rule of the Palaeologus dynasty, Michael and eutychius. at the same time, many noblemen erected votive churches in the terri- tory of Kosovo (Kmetovce, Vaganeš, ajnovce, Lipljan) and the largest mining center in Serbia of that time and a mint (Novo Brdo) were established. They attest to the cultural and economic power of the Serbian medieval state during the century which was to see its highest ascent but also its greatest defeat at the hands of the Turks in 1389 (Gazimes- tan). after the last barrier was dismantled, the Ottoman empire came to threaten even Vienna, while artistic pur- suit in the region of Kosovo, which had for over a thousand years been a lively juncture of trade routes and cultures practically died down until a century ago when the urban center of Priština started developing and new centers start- ed cropping up. However, their artistic reaches fell short of the medieval masters who erected upon the foundations of earlier cultures the most impressive monuments of medi- eval architecture and fresco painting.
The region of Kosovo is a juncture at which intersect and cross-fertilise the main artistic and historic paths in the Serbian medieval state. it mirrors the major aspects of the material and spiritual life blossoming in the Orthodox east prior to its decline and fall under Ottoman rule. Based on traditions of antiquity which embedded its roots deep in the soil of Kosovo, it is here that one of the most repre- sentative examples of late Byzantine art was created, the
 * Kosovo and Metohija
* Southern SerbiaDeSCRiPTiON
The region of Kosovo between the upper stretches of the Sitnica, Binačka Morava and Kriva Reka rivers, was an active province of the Roman empire which got its episco- pal seat (Ulpiana) in the 4th century. Numerous archaeo- logical localities show that this area was densely populated during antiquity while at the time of the expansion of the Serbian state in the 14th century, it became the venue of important historic events which were to shape the destiny of not only the Serbian people but of the entire Balkan pen- insula as well. it was here that one of the most beautiful
  Justinian’s golden solidus
Ulpiana, remnants of Roman and early Byzantine edifice, Lipljan

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