BELGRADE – The Serbian Orthodox monasteries of Visoki Decani, Gracanica, the Patriarchate of Pec and the Church of the Holy Virgin of Ljevisa are the cultural monuments in the territory of Kosovo-Metohija (KiM) inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Photo: Pudelek / Wikipedia
Photo: Pudelek / Wikipedia

The sacred sites for the Serbs, inscribed jointly on the list as “Medieval monuments in Kosovo”, are the pinnacle of the Byzantine-Romanesque ecclesiastical culture and its unique fresco painting style, found in the Balkans between the 13th and the 17th centuries.

With their architecture and frescoes, icons and church furniture, these cultural monuments provide a vivid picture of artistic culture in the medieval Serbia, which extended well beyond the local borders.

Visoki Decani monastery was the first to be inscribed on UNESCO’s list in 2004, and the remaining three edifices were added in 2006, when due to an unstable security situation in KiM all four sacred sites were inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Pristina tried to rename them as ‘cultural monuments of Kosovo’, which provoked a harsh reaction from Belgrade and was not accepted at the UNESCO.