It is not exactly known when the Holy Trinity Monastery in Pljevlja was founded. Today's see of the Eparchy of Mileševa was established before the 1465 Ottoman conquest of the city. Since the Ottoman law forbade the building of new churches, but permitted the rebuilding of those which had existed at the time of Mehmed the Conqueror, it is certain that a church had existed on the site of the present monastic church, before the Ottoman conquest and probably made of wood. The first reference to Holy Trinity Monastery in Pljevlja dates from 1573, when Sava, a monk from the monastery, copied a manuscript. At that time the monastery was managed by abbot Visarion, who took great pains to improve its economic position. Moreover, an inscription published by Sava Kosanovic in 1871 shows that it was precisely this abbot who restored the monastery. This testimony is corroborated by the donor's portrait of Visarion on the south wall of the nave.
The architecture of Holy Trinity Monastery differs from that of other monasteries in the region. The architecture of the oldest part of the monastery is very unusual, in that it is almost square, with a large apse. The nave is divided by four pillars - two on the south side and two on the north - into three sections: a wide central part and two narrow side-aisles. The central part of the nave is covered by a longitudinal barrel vault supported by the pillars, while the transverse vaults of the lower side-aisles are also semicircular and are set at right angle to the central part of the nave. For other architectural features, parallels can be found in the architecture of the period.
Holy Trinity Monastery is the richest treasury of the cultural and spiritual life of the Orthodox Serbs from the Middle Ages to the present times. During a period of time in the history, traditional costumes displayed in the ethnological department of the Heritage Museum Pljevlja were carefully preserved in the monastery.
Among the church vessels acquired during the 16th century is a pyx from 1576 and a holy chalice from 1578. The pyx is in the form of a single-naved church with three cupolas. The chalice is very similar to contemporary Italian examples: it is predominantly Gothic. The differing traditions are skilfully harmonized and this can be classed among the finest products of sixteenth century Serbian goldsmith's work, because of its precise craftmanship and subtle proportions.
The iconographical repertory of Holy Trinity Monastery, Pljevlja, is interesting because of the choice of the figures of saints and compositions. The accounts given by Rudolf Hilferding and Sava Kosanovic show that the nave and the sanctuary were decorated in 1595 by Father Strahinja of Budmilje.
The scriptorium of the monastery was especially well known in the middle of the 16th and 17th centuries. The credit for this should mainly be given to the Monk Gavrilo. Little has been discovered about his life. Many of the books copied by him are still in the monastery, but some very precious ones are to be found abroad, in Vienna, Saint Petersburg and Prague. The miniatures in Gavrilo's Psalter were the work of Jovan Kir Kozma, considered one of the greatest Serb painters of the 17th century.
There are also many icons. One of them represents the Nativity, dated to the 1570s and attributed to the prominent Serbian icon painter Zograf Longin of Peć, who also painted frescoes at Visoki Dečani. Another icon, the Baptism of Christ, is also attributed to him. The five icons painted in 1645/1646 and preserved in the monastic treasury were painted in the monastery. The also includes Andrija Raičević icons, icons of the Cretan School and Russian icons as well as many by unknown artists. Those by the Cretan School are very fine, especially an icon of the Deesis with saints and Saint George and the Dragon.References:
Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.
Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.
When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.
In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.
Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.
Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.
In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.
The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.
The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.
In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.
The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.
In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.
The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.
Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.