Monastery of Saint Nikola - the most important information
Above the mouth of the river Banjska in Toplica, on a hill overlooking the city, stands the oldest endowment of Stefan Nemanja. This monastery was built in the same period as the Monastery of the Holy Mother of God
, during his reign in Toplica. Unlike the Holy Mother of God, the church has been renovated and gladly visited by the local population and tourists. Near the monastery there is the Kursumlija cemetery, as well as a monument to the fallen fighters of the National Liberation War. We suggest that, when you visit this part of Serbia, you organize a trip within which you will visit both endowments.History of the monastery of Saint Nikola
After the erection of the monastery dedicated to the Holy Mother of God, Stefan Nemanja worked on the erection of this monastery. It is assumed that the works took place in the period of 1159-1166. Kursumlija was the beginning of his military, state and construction mass. The monastery in its base is a single-nave building with a cross-divided dome resembling the churches of Constantinople. A space intended for a tomb was built in the southern part of the building. A style of construction that mixes Byzantine influences and Romanesque elements was the forerunner of the Raska style. The interior of the monastery preserves parts of frescoes from the 14th century. Nemanja's son Stefan worked on the renovation of the monastery, adding an open exonarthex and two bell towers in which space was left for another grave site. The chapel on the north side is the work of King Milutin, who built it at the beginning of the 15th century. The monastery church covered with lead fitted in with the other churches in Kursumlija, which is why it was called Bela Crkva. Once the Ottomans removed the copper after the Great Migration of the Serbs, the church fell into disrepair until 1910, when the central part of the church was covered again. Partial research works were carried out on this site, and the reconstruction of one part of the monastery was completed during the summer of 2020.Significance of the monastery of Saint Nikola
Since 1979, the entire site has been protected by the state as a cultural monument of exceptional importance. The protection and renovation of this monastery preserves the cultural heritage of Serbia and one of its most esteemed dynasties. The first transcription center was founded inside the monastery church in the time of Nemanjic, and the style of construction itself was quite advanced during its creation and represents a real shift in the art and architecture in Serbia.How to get to the monastery of Saint Nikola?
From the direction of Prolom Banja, it is best to reach the monastery by car, as the distance is slightly more than 20 kilometers. This trip will only last about 30 minutes and will take you through the beautiful natural landscapes of Kursumlija.
- By car: In Prolom Banja, join the state road 228 which you follow along the Prolomska river to the place Rudare. Near Rudare is a connection to the E-80 highway. Along the river Kosanica, follow it through the places Visoka and Kastrat, next to which is a left turn to Kosancica Ivana Street. This street leads you to the cemetery and St. Sava Street, from where the monastery is not far.
To enter the church it is necessary to follow a specific dress code that includes covered shoulders and no short pants, skirts or dresses.