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History

Prof.Dr. John Drancolli: Catholic Religious Monuments in Kosovo During the Middle Ages

Prof.Dr_.-Jahja-DrançolliMany monuments of Christian worship, traces of which still kept silent and Kosovo, along with  “the myth of the Battle of Kosovo “, served from centuries past and serve to this day as evidence, not only to justify  “the cradle of Serbian people” , but the source and “justification” substantially to the Serbian aggression, not only in Kosovo. To justify this, he based the extra-scientific theses related to duty and the right of Serb national identity. Hence, “lands that preserves national identity is undeniable, which can not be separated either by people or by the state.” In this regard, if global organizations would accept Kosovo as an independent state, the world will require Serbia to be deprived of the sovereignty of its cultural heritage, and the territory that maintains its national identity.

On this basis, guided by the policies of the day, was built monuments pro-Serbian concept of Christian worship, the number of which is very imposing, for which the regions of Kosovo, according to them, preserves exceptional value.What attracts more attention is that, according to the monuments of universal registration of Kosovo, over the years  1956, 1968, 1986 and 1993 , it appears that, overall fund of religious monuments, nearly two thirds of monuments recorded within the Serbian Orthodox worship, respectively recorded 22 monasteries and 110 Serbian Orthodox rite churches, 25 mosques, 29 religious monuments of Byzantine rite, which was adopted by the Serbs or their ruins rose Serbian churches and monasteries, from the thirteenth century until today. Meanwhile, according to statistics above, was recorded only three Catholic Christian churches, which are now in ruins.
Since, our historiography, led by the politics of the day, pausing to this issue later, Serbian Statistical speculative reports, mentioned above, found throughout the world champion. In the face of such speculation, recently, some of our prominent scholars, such as: Gender Gasper, Skender Rizaj, Zef Mirdita, Zef Shan, Fejaz Drancolli  of any other, with the objective of their results, instrumentalizuese views began to pull down the Serbian historiography on the issue of Christian worship monuments. If you look carefully historic resources of time, as well as archaeological findings, it is clear that we are dealing with the acquisition of Serbian religious monuments Illyrian-Albanian Roman and Byzantine period, a phenomenon that has become common practice since the rule nemanjid . In other words, the main landmarks of Christian worship in Kosovo, which today are considered Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries, as the Church of the Monastery of Decani, Gracanica, Saints Michael and Gabriel in the Prizren district, Church of Our Lady in Prizren prey, complex The Patriarchate of Pec, Church of St. Stephen in regions of Mitrovica, are ancient, as indigenous Albanians and the Serbs in Kosovo invader, since until now, the serious researcher, no one denies the fact that churches and monasteries words are constructed, reconstructed or repaired on the foundations of the ancient monuments of Roman and Byzantine period. Hence,  Gracanica monastery , according to reports historical and archaeological resource during 1957, 1963 and 1964, is a basilica built between c.  VI-XI.  This basilica was the  center of the diocese Dardanian Ulpiana.  After its collapse, the foundations The middle nave was rebuilt a church dedicated to the Virgin of Gracanica. It is likely that this church is mentioned in the letter of Pope Benedict XI in 1303 as the Catholic parish church. On this church, King nemanjid  Milutin , built Gracanica Monastery  circa 1316. Also, the  Monastery of Saints Michael Gabrie l is built on an ancient church Dardanian the period of late antiquity. The reconstruction was made ​​circa  1348.  huge contribution to its construction gave traders raguzianë Catholic, living and acting in Prizren. Archaeologists, in the ruins of the monastery, have revealed interesting fragments of Byzantine art, and Gothic ROMANIK. What attracts more attention is the mosaic, which has no parallel in any mosaic work in Serbia, but more like mosaic in baptistery of the cathedral Santa Maria in Florence. In the monastery church and tomb kryezotëruesit stored Albanian Strazimir Balsha, since 1372. It is also known that King Milutin, in 1307, appropriated the church of Our Lady cathedral in Prizren prey. The church has several construction phases, which noted archaeologist  Shukriu.  Its construction in chronological terms, the construction phase is characterized by ancient and medieval.

At the beginning of the century. XIII of Apostles Church was built in Pec. In fact, this church, which is now located within the complex of the Patriarchy of Pec churches, like the first two, is the reconstruction of a typical middle-aged staff, which was given the shape of a church of the time. In the facade of the church, with a nave, there are also ways ROMANIK the paper, in which style sacral buildings were completed in Albanian and Dalmatian coast. The mode of operation with stones and finely carved, Western-style elements ROMANIK, romaniko-Gothic come in all facilities sacral character, built during the Middle Ages developed in Kosovo. Western construction impacts, special way, impacts dalmato – Albanian coming from Ragusa, Kotor, Korcul, Bar, Ulcinj, Skadar, etc.., Best seen in the Church of the Monastery of Decani, restored or built during the reign of kings nemanjid Decani and Stefan Dusan (1327-1335).
Decani Monastery Church is the greatest act that maintains elements of Albanian construction came from the Dalmatian coast. On the lintel of the southern portal of the narthex is the inscription carved Albanian architect that Vita Kuqi – Cuci. For his life and work, recently, in the records of the Historical Archive Kotor, we found interesting information. According to one account out of the notary office of Kotor, Franciscan Father Vita or abbot Kuqi was rector of the church.
Demolition and appropriation of the ancient churches of the subsequent invaders Serbs and Albanians priests outrage, followed through documents print time. Their series is over. Are impressive announcements anonymous writer since 1308, letters sent Albanian generous pope  John XXII , in 1319, the relationship between the Dominican  Guillelmus ADAE , archbishop of Bar circa 1330; Code of Dushan from years 1349, 1354; letërpendimi of Emperor Dusan , sent to Pope Innocent VI in 1354, etc..

It is known that in towns near mining markets and Kosovo, along with local Albanians and Serbs invaders, colonists coexisted even thousands of Catholics from Ragusa, Kotor and other coastal cities of the Adriatic. Chancelleries official announcements and notaries, who come from these centers, especially when it comes to economic activity and organization of life:
Interesting monuments Catholic Christian worship in Kosovo during the Middle Ages, the papal press encounter in which highlight, among other things, for organizing church in the Balkans. In this regard, according to the letter of Pope  Benedict XI , by the year 1303 mentioned parish church in Rudnik, Rogozinë, Gracanica and Trepçë. Also, in the letter of Pope Clement VI, since 1346, mentioned a number of Catholic parish churches in Kosovo today territories. Their range starts with the parish church in Prizren, to continue with the parish church in Novo Brdo, Janjevë  Kopriç  and  Ostrac.  many medieval Catholic Church in Kosovo caught in relations speculate prominent men of the church papal XVI-XVIII centuries. The existence of several churches that were mentioned above proved by documentation of the Institute for Protection of Monuments of Kosovo, in Pristina. According to the documents in question, their part is absorbed or destroyed by the invading Ottoman Serbs, the rest is in ruins. If we end up with the conclusion that the Kosovo region of the Middle Ages, have coexisted very religious monuments Catholic Christian, Byzantine and Orthodox – Serbian. A number of medieval sacral buildings, Christian and Byzantine Catholic, today we presented only as traces of material culture and archival documentation of the museum. On the other hand,  the Serbian Orthodox Church, the church adopted the ancient Illyrian-Albanian , built or rebuilt on them, since the thirteenth century, rising to centuries of Ottoman rule, the Yugoslav kingdom and up to the present day.

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Source Albanian

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