Krupa monastery is the oldest Orthodox monastery in Croatia. It is located on the southern slopes of the Velebit mountain, halfway between the towns of Obrovac and Knin.
The monastery was built in 1317 by monks from Bosnia, with the financial support from the Serbian king Milutin. During their reigns, King Stefan Dečanski and Emperor Dušan renovated the monastery. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the monastery was endowed by Saint Angelina of Serbia. Georgije Mitrofanović painted the walls in 1620–22. In the 1760s, Serbian writer and educator, Dositej Obradović, lived and worked in Krupa, while in the 1860s, major Serbian realist author, Simo Matavulj, lived and was educated in the monastery. Gerasim Zelić also lived there in the 18th century. It was completely renovated in 1855.
The surrounding konaks were burnt to the ground by the Ustaše during the World War II, who also destroyed the interior of the monastery turning it into their military post. In the 1950s the construction of the large belfry began but was never finished. After the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars in 1991, the well-known monastery treasury was displaced from Krupa. During the Operation Storm the monastery sustained damages in September 1995 and the local Orthodox Serbs, so as the priests, went into exile in Serbia. The belfry and the bells were damaged, so as the chapel while the interior was looted and partially demolished. Since 2000, partial reconstruction of Krupa began. It included numerous works, such as the construction and painting of the small additional church (paraklis) and the partial adaptation of the unfinished belfry. Some of the artifacts were returned in 2010. Since the mid-2010s, the government of the Republic of Croatia also helped with the renovation of the monastery.
The church of the Krupa monastery is dedicated to the Feast of the Dormition of Theotokos. In the monastery there are beautiful frescoes, a valuable collection of icons and parts of iconostasis and the collection of the several centuries old books.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.