Devič Monastery

Devič Monastery reconstruction after it was burned down in 2004
Monastery information
Full Name Манастир Девич
Order Serbian Orthodox
Established 1434
Dedicated to St. Joannicius of Devič
Diocese Eparchy of Raška and Prizren
Founder(s) Despot Đurađ Branković
Important associated figures Đurađ Branković
Patriarch Makarije
Euphemia the Nun
Location Srbica, Drenica (Kosovo[a]) Serbia
Public Access Limited

Devič (Serbian Cyrillic: Девич) is a Serb Orthodox abbey in Serbia (Kosovo[a]). It was built in 1434 and is dedicated to St. Joannicius of Devič.

Devič was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1990, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.



The founder of the monastery is thought to be Despot Đurađ Branković, who had it built in memory of his daughter. In the Turkish census from 1455, the monastery is mentioned as the church of the Theotokos (dedicated to The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple). During Turkish occupation the monastery was pulled down, but the church and the site with the grave of St. Joannicius was reconstructed, and was painted in 1578.

Monastery after it was burned down in 2004

The monastery was destroyed and burnt down during World War II in 1941, at the hands of Albanian Fascist Party and Balli Kombëtar forces, the Prior Damaskin Bošković was killed, and Italian troops disassembled the two big bells and took them away in 1942. It was rebuilt in 1947.

Devič was a target of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1999. The monastery was vandalized and all food and two cars were stolen. The marble tomb of the patron saint St. Joannicius of Devič was desecrated by local Albanian extremists in June 1999. For four days nuns and hieromonk Seraphim were exposed to humilitations and harassments and most notably a nun was raped. Since then it has been under the constant protection of French KFOR troops.[1][2]

It was the target of new attacks by Albanians in the most serious unrest in Kosovo on 18 March, 2004 when the nuns were evacuated for safety reasons by Danish KFOR troops. Following that the monastery was pillaged and torched. The Serb Orthodox Church received confirmation of the monastery's plight the following day from the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).


See also

  • Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance
  • Tourism in Serbia
  • List of Serb Orthodox monasteries

External links

  • Video of the burned, destroyed and desecrated Devič monastery complex

Notes and references


a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, while Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory. Its independence is recognised by 85 UN member states.


External links

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