Photographer's Note

Hram Svetog Save 2

Temple of Saint Sava 2

Saint Sava (Serbian: Свети Сава, Romanized: Sveti Sava) (1175 - January 14, 1235), originally the prince Rastko Nemanjić (Serbian: Растко Немањић) (son of the Serbian ruler and founder of the Serbian medieval state Stefan Nemanja and brother of Stefan Prvovenčani, first Serbian king), is the first Serb archbishop (1219-1233), the most important saint in the Serbian Orthodox Church and important cultural and political worker of that time.

In his youth (c. 1192), he fled from his home to join the orthodox monastic colony on Mount Athos (Holy Mountain on the Chalkidiki peninsula) and was given the name Sava. He first traveled to a Russian monastery and then moved to the Greek Monastery of Vatopedi. At the end of 1197 his father, king Stefan Nemanja joined him. In 1198 they together moved to and restored the abandoned monastery Hilandar, which was at that time the center of Serbian Christian monastic life.

St. Sava's father took the monastic vows under the name Simeon and died in Hilandar on February 13, 1199. He is also canonised, as Saint Simeon.

After his father's death, Sava retreated to an ascetic monastery in Kareya which he built himself in 1199. He also wrote the Kareya Typicon both for Hilandar and for the monastery of ascetism. The last typicon is inscribed into the marble board at the ascetic monastery, which today also exists in it. He stayed on Athos until the end of 1207.

St. Sava managed to persuade the patriarch of the Greek/Byzantine Orthodox Church to elevate St. Sava to the position of the first Serbian Archbishop, thereby establishing the Independence of Archbishopic of the Serbian Church in the year of 1219.

Saint Sava is considered the founder of the independent Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian Orthodox Christians celebrate him as patron saint of education and medicine. He is commemorated on January 27 according to the Julian calendar and on January 14 according to the Gregorian calendar. Since the 1830's, Saint Sava has become the patron saint of Serb schools and schoolchildren. On his day, students partake in recitals in church.
Sava died in Tarnovgrad in northern Bulgaria during the reign of Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria, having become ill following the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Epiphany on January 12, 1235. He died of pneumonia in the evening between Saturday and Sunday, January 14, 1235. [1] He was buried at the St Forty Martyrs Church where it remained until May 6, 1237 when his sacred bones were moved to the Mileševa monastery in southern Serbia. 360 years later in 1595 the Ottoman Turks unearthed his remains and took them to Vračar hill in Belgrade where they were incinerated on a stake.

The Temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade, whose construction was planned in 1939, begun in 1985 and awaits completion by 2004 is the largest active Orthodox temple in the world today. It was built on the place where the bones were believed to have been burned. In reality, what is now Vracar hill was outside the city walls and not within easy reach. There was a Vračar hill on what is now Tašmajdan. This place was a Turkish execution ground and would have been a more likely candidate. Also, tradition holds the place of burning as "Čupina Umka", the tallest point in Tašmajdan.

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