Page 636 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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 Milan ivanović
Palm Sunday, detail, west vault, Church of the Mother of God Hodegetria, the Patriarchate of Peć, ca. 1335
The notorious persecutor of the Serbs, Haji-Zeka de- stroyed the big church at jošanica and transported its stones and columns to build his mosque at Lještani. The Peć Mute- saphir (director) Mulla Zeka transported, in the ’70s, from the church of Our Lady the Hvostanska its columns, capi- tals, ornamental cut-stones, and elaborated stones to the Peć place to build a Turkish bath for himself. Some un- known albanians swiped the finished cut-stones of the churches and monasteries at Slovinj, near Lipljan, and sold them as their own products to the contractors of the com- pany which constructed the Priština-Skoplje railway, so that they could build them in the bridges and passes along the Trans-Kosovo line. But, nevertheless, and in spite of everything done, what has left is by no means negligible. Besides those greatest monuments with their invaluable frescos and treasuries, there are still those small churches and ascetic temples almost in every town or village or in the mountains—no matter if they were destroyed or left in ruins—that have remained as witnesses. and where nei- ther ruins nor any traces of their existence were left, there are still their names that exist: the names of the church dales, hills and groves; fields and meadows; the names of the church and monkish draw-wells, brooks and springs (one of them is found today in the very pen of an albanian house at the Village of Vrbovac in Drenica); then also tombs and cemeteries; bridges and wharfs—survived to keep the memory of the ancient times when the Serbian landmarks had existed there. Out of the presently officially registered 1445 places in Kosovo and Metohija, 1090 are found by this project to have been either preserved or ruined remnants of the Serbian immobile (standing) monuments.
and what to say about the Serbian mobile objects-mon- uments: icons, books, textiles, and metals? if one has in view the fact that for maintaining the regular spiritual and religious life, according to the then valid regulations, every church was obliged to have an iconostasis (with the altar gates and at least two throne—and 12 holiday-icons) and that every church had to have 7 to 10 books, number of priest’s garments and at least 3 to 4 church vessels (icon candles, disks, chalices, censers), then we could suppose that all these churches together possessed about 10 to 15 thousand icons, about 7 to 10 thousand books for religious services, several thousand sacred vessels and, of course, several hundreds of church bells and clappers. But even if that valuable property existed, it has for the most part dis- appeared, with the exception of the treasuries of Monas- teries Dečani and partly Gračanica and Peć.
Out of only fifteen of Serbian icons dating from the 14th century which have been preserved, two thirds are of the Kosovo and Metohian origin, or kept in the yonder mon- asteries. and of others, there are maybe about 200–300 preserved icons, including those from the 19th century. The situation is no better regarding the Serbian charters, man- uscripts and printed books that belonged to the churches and monasteries of Kosovo. There is only the original of the 1330 Bulla of Dečani (Dečanska Hrisovulja) kept in the archives of Serbia, in Belgrade. The Big St. Stephen Bulla (velika Dečanska Hrisovulja) by which King Milutin founds Monastery Banjska is now kept in the Sarai State Library in istanbul. The Charter of King Stefan of Dečani (Povelja Kralja Stefana Dečanskog), donated to the Prizren episco- pate, in 1327, disappeared from Belgrade during the aus-

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