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Hercegovačka Gračanica

Offering a phenomenal view, this hilltop complex consists of a bell tower, a gallery, a cafe-bar and a bishop's palace, but most of all, the compact but attractive Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Annunciation). The design of the latter is based very symbolically on the Gračanica monastery in Kosovo from 1321, a historically significant building that many Serbs consider sacred. The Trebinje version was built in 2000 to store the bones of the local poet-hero Jovan Dučić.

Tourist complex Hercegovačka Gračanica is the most visited religious building in Eastern Herzegovina.

It was built in honor of the wish of the famous Serbian poet Jovan Dučić, expressed in his will. He wanted to be buried on one of the hills surrounding Trebinje in a church 'similar to the one in Kosovo' - meaning Gračanica in Kosovo, the most important legacy of King Milutin from 1321.

Jovan Dučić died on April 7, 1943, on Blagovjesti. On that same day in 1999, the foundation stone for Herzegovinian Gračanica was laid on Crkvina Hill. According to some sources, there used to be a church of St. Michael the Archangel, in honor of King Milutin). The entire complex was completed a year later. On the Feast of the Annunciation in 2000, 47 years after the poet's death, his remains were transferred to Hercegovačka Gračanica.

Herzegovinian Gračanica is not identical to the one in Kosovo. It has one less level, and the interior is also somewhat different. The church was built in the Byzantine style and painted in the so-called "secco" technique (dry painting), under the strong influence of the famous Greek icon painter Stamatis Skliris.

Inside the church there are 16 columns, 15 of which are square and one round, which have a special symbolic meaning. At its foot is a stone from Kosovska Gračanica, which is a symbol of the "home stone" that carries the spirit of the "old home" into the "new home".

The floor of Hercegovačka Gračanica is a replica of the mosaic from the Prizren Monastery of the Holy Archangels (Metohija), a legacy of Emperor Dušan the Strong, and it also has an important meaning. On the floor of the church there is a 'dragon' which represents the 'devil', so anyone who enters will step on the wicked one and thus deny him.

The iconostasis is a convincing replica of the one from the Hilandar monastery on Mount Athos. It was made in the Tvrdoš monastery.

The poet's grave is on the right side of the church, and it simply says "Jovan Dučić - poet", just as he wanted.

Within the complex there is also a bell tower, bishop's palace, amphitheater, souvenir shop and summer restaurant "Dučićev pogled".

Over time, Gračanica became popular for wedding ceremonies as well. One of the most impressive prayers in the church is 'Marriage in Cana'.

Do you want to experience Hercegovina Gračanica firsthand, enjoy the stunning architecture, picturesque views from the cafe bar and bishop's palace or visit the stunning Church of the Holy Virgin? Contact our partners - ERO Travel Tour Agency.

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ERO Traveand teamrofessionals will create a trip according to your preferences.

🚴‍♂️ Istočna Hercegovina/Republika Srpska

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