Not far from the city of Petrovac is one of the most famous monasteries in Montenegro called "Gradiste". The monastery is one of the most significant monuments of fresco painting of the late Middle Ages. In this place, in ancient times, there was a cemetery and ancient buildings called “gradzhevine”, thanks to which the monastery built later was called “Gradiste”.

Monastery Hradiste, Buljarica

At the entrance to the monastery is the Church of St. Sava. It houses an iconostasis painted in 1864 by the Greek icon painter Nicholas Aspiotis. In the center of the monastery is the church of St. Nicholas, built at the end of the 16th century. The temple was painted by the priest Strahia Budimlyanin in 1620. The south wall depicts St. Sava and Simeon; on the north - St. Mary of Egypt "Mamming". In the old days, there was such a belief that if you put some modest gift, oil or wine, under this image, then the young mother will have a lot of milk.

Courtyard of the monastery Hradiste, Buljarica
Monastery courtyard; cells are visible on the left
Church of St. Nicholas
Fresco in the doorway

At the very top, in the cemetery, is the smallest church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was built in the style of rural church architecture and also painted by Strahia Budimlyanin in 1620.

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The history of this monastery is rather complicated. It suffered greatly from the Turkish raids in 1785, when the troops of the Skadar Pasha Black Mahmud attacked Montenegro. In the 19th century, the abbots renovated the monastery. In the 20th century, the monastery was again devastated: during the First World War, the Austrians removed all the bells, and during the Second World War, the Italians burned the monastery. By 1972, the cells and the churches themselves had been restored. However, in 1979 there was a strong earthquake, from which the complex was badly damaged: the church of St. Savva was completely destroyed, the church of St. Nicholas and the cell building were partially damaged. After that, the complex was restored for 13 years, and in 1993 it was reopened.

View of the church of St. Nicholas

From the mountain on which the monastery is located, there is a beautiful view of Buljarica, a quiet family resort village.

Buljarica, resort village

On the other side, the road leading to Petrovac is visible:

Road to Petrovac

The monastery sells colorful booklets describing the history of the monastery and the saints in whose honor it was built, for 2 euros.

Note: if you go through the entire cemetery to the end (and it is small), then there you can go to two forest paths: one leads down to the village, and the second, the one to the right, leads somewhere to the mountains. If you want to take a walk where the foot of a pilgrim-tourist has not yet set foot, then you are welcome!

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