Manastiri Ovčarsko-kablarske klisure

Ovčarsko-kablarska klisura, Cacak

Monasteries of the Ovcar-Kablar Gorge - the most important information 

Between the mountains Ovcar and Kablar there is a gorge which, in addition to exceptional natural beauties, is known for a large number of monasteries that were founded in it and are still located today. These monasteries are hidden in dense forests and their surroundings are enriched by diverse flora and fauna and numerous springs of mountain rivers. A trip that would include all the monasteries of this area is ideal for lovers of active vacations, and we recommend that you visit at least some of them when you are in this part of Serbia.

History of the monasteries of the Ovcar-Kablar Gorge
The first monasteries built in this area are related to the years 1307-1309, when Serbian monks fled under the Catalan invasion. At that time, the monasteries on the Holy Mount Athos were destroyed, and the escaped monks founded new ones in this gorge. After the Battle of Maritsa, a new wave of people moved into the gorge. During the Ottoman rule, these monasteries played the role of preserving the spirituality identity of Serbia and Serbs, and refugees often hid in them. During the 1930s, an initiative was launched to rebuild the monasteries, as a large number of them were dilapidated at the time. Today there are 10 monasteries and 2 holy places in the gorge.

Monasteries of the Ovcar-Kablar Gorge
They were built on the right and left banks of the Morava. The right bank consists of:
  • Vavedenje Monastery: Located at the entrance to the gorge, it was founded in the 16th century, as evident by its architecture, although there is a legend that it was founded by Saint Sava and his father.
  • Monastery of the Ascension: It is located on the northern slopes of Mount Ovcar and was built between the 12th and 13th centuries;It was destroyed during the Great Migration of the Serbs and had a transcription school. 
  • Preobrazenje Monastery: Today it is located one kilometer from Ovcar Banja, where it was built in 1938 after the original building on the left side of the Morava was demolished during the construction of the railway station; It only has a missionary role.
  • Holy Trinity Monastery: Built in the area of ​​the village of Ducalovici, it is believed that it was built during the 16th century and stands out architecturally among the monasteries of this gorge.
  • Sretenje Monastery: Located not far from the Holy Trinity Monastery, it is protected by untouched nature; It was built during the 16th century and today preserves manuscripts, works of art and objects from the 17th and 18th century.
The left bank of the Morava is adorned with monasteries:
  • Blagovestenje Monastery: It was built above the hydroelectric power plant Ovcar Banja in 1601/1602, in its complex it contains konak and auxiliary buildings and was known for its transcription school.
  • Ilinje Monastery: Built on a hill above the Blagovestenje Monastery, it was originally designed to be a convent, but the current monastery was built on the foundations of the old in 1938.
  • Jovanje Monastery: Built on the largest meander of the West Morava, it has undergone numerous destructions and renovations and today it preserves valuable icons from 1850.
  • Nikolje Monastery: The oldest of the monasteries, it was built in the village of Rosci in a style that indicates that it dates back to the 14th century.
  • Uspenje Monastery: Built on a hill above the Jovanje Monastery and visible from all sides of the gorge, it is architecturally specific and was renovated before the Second World War.
  • Sacred places of Savinja and Kadjenica: The church on the steepest edges of Kablar and the sacral-monumental area inside the Kadjenica cave.
Significance of the monasteries of the Ovcar-Kablar Gorge
  • The Ovcar-Kablar gorge is known as the Serbian Holy Mount because of the large number of monasteries that adorn it. 
  • The Vavedenje Monastery preserves the relics of the holy prince Lazarus, the holy great martyr Panteleimon and other esteemed priests.
  • Within the monastery of the Holy Trinity, the throne icons of the Savior and the Mother of God, which have ancient value, are kept.
  • In the Blagovestenje Monastery, Serbian Patriarch Pavle was ordained a monk and it possesses the Gospel of the Annunciation, which was written in 1372.
  • The treasury of the Nikolje monastery contains the Karanjsko Gospel, which is one of the most important manuscripts from the beginning of the 17th century, and Milos Obrenovic and his family hid from the Turks within its complex.
How to get to the monasteries of the Ovcar-Kablar Gorge?
From Cacak, the entrance to the Ovcar-Kablar gorge can be reached by car following the E763 highway. This road will lead you to the immediate vicinity of the Vavedenje monastery, from where you should follow the marked paths and roads to all other monasteries. If you are not sure about the continuation of the journey, ask the surrounding population or the clergy for help.
  • By car: Follow Gospodar Jovanova Street to Vojvode Stepe, which will take you to the E763 hihjway. Follow it along the West Morava to the Vavedenje monastery.
Additional information
To enter the churches it is necessary to follow a specific dress code that includes covered shoulders and no short pants, skirts or dresses.