Sunday, December 22, 2013

Staro Hopovo Monastery and St. Panteleimon Church - Serbia

Staro Hopovo Monastery (staro meaning "old") is Serbian Orthodox and a short 2 km drive away from Novo Hopovo near Krusedol on Fruska Gora Mountain in Vojvodina province, Serbia. It was built between 1496 and 1520. The original church, also dedicated to St. Nicholas, was ruined by an earthquake in 1751 and a new one of cut stone and brick with a ten-sided dome was built. It was dedicated to St. Panteleimon. The monastery is in bad condition and is not active. Only the church remains. It appears that the church has recently been restored. I believe the remains of the other buildings are guest houses. At one time there were 35 monasteries in the Fruska Gora and only 17 remain today. 
St. Panteleimon Church at Staro Hopovo Monastery
St. Panteimon Church - entrance
Detail above the entrance
Dilapidated buildings near the church that I believe were guest quarters when the monastery was operating. 
Back of St. Panteleimon Church
Brick and stone in the outer shell.

As indicated on a post on St. Panteleimon Church near Skopje, MacedoniaSt. Panteleimon was a martyr of the Diocletian persecution of 303 AD in Nicomedia (near modern day Istanbul, Turkey) which was at that time the eastern capital of the Roman Empire under Diocletian in the tetrarchy system. Panteleimon was the physician to Galerius, the eastern Ceasar to Diocletian, who governed Illyricum from Sirmium (near modern Belgrade, Serbia in the Vojvodina region - very near this church). Galerius was likely the impetus behind  Diocletian's persecution of the Christians. Diocletian wished to save Panteleimon and urged him to sacrifice to the gods, but Panteleimon refused. So Panteleimon was ultimately beheaded.  He is depicted as a beardless young man with curly hair. 

St. Panteleimon

When we visited we stood for some time in this very small church and watched a priest do a confirmation service with two women in his beautiful voice.  

1 comment:

  1. I love the tiny churches like this one that we saw here and there on this trip--a testament to man's search for God in the outreaches of society.