The sacral topography of the Monastery of Treskavac
Сакрална топографија манастира Трескавца
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The stretches of Mt Treskavac with Zlatovrh, a dominant peak in Pelagonija and its distinctive rocky landscape have offered a suitable setting for exercising austere monastic practices ever since medieval times. The sacred area formed around the Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin in medieval times was founded on the antique sacred place of Kolobaise and the temples of Artemis of Ephesus and Apollo Euthanatos. To medieval renovation of the monastery besides the Byzantine and Bulgarian rulers, also contributed the Serbian rulers of the Nemanjić house, kings Milutin, Stefan of Dečani and Dušan. Testimonies to a stay at Treskavac were left by the Serbian nobles enochiar Dabiživ and tepčija Gradislav. The cult of the Virgin of Treskavac confirmed in the written sources beginning with king Dušan's charters to the monastery (1334-1343), left its trace both in the wall-painting of the monastery church and in the activity of manuscript copying cultivated in this monastic center. Over the ...centuries, many pilgrims, from the royalty local lords and members of well-to-do families to priests and monks Orthodox Christians but also non-Christians, came to show their respect to the Virgin of Treskavac. A small cave church has been recently registered in the immediate vicinity of the monastery. An evidence of the eremitic way of life, it confirms the information contained in king Dušan's charters. Namely, they compare the way of life of the monks of Treskavac with the ascetic practice of Mount Athos and Mount Sinai. The area of Mt Treskavac also shows several rock paintings with a cultic function. This authentic manner of marking out a sacred area may be explained by the prophylactic role of the Virgin, or a Christian saint, in a barely passable, perilous landscape. Springs and drinking fountains constitute another important element of the monastery's topography. Through the monks' continuous and devout effort put into shaping the landscape, the fresh and icy cold water from the mountain springs has been captured and channeled into drinking fountains for the use both of the dwellers of the monastery and of pilgrims.
U radu se analizira sakralni prostor manastira Treskavca i kult Bogorodice Treskavačke. Istraživanje je zasnovano na proučavanju srednjovekovnih pisanih izvora i terenskih obilazaka manastira i okoline. U neposrednoj blizini manastira, čiji monaški život kralj Dušan poredi sa onim na Atosu i Sinaju, na prostoru planine Treskavac, utvrđeno je postojanje pećinske crkvice, oslikanih stena i izvora, koji zajedno sa planinskim vrhom Zlatovrhom čine jedinstvenu sakralnu celinu. Sveti prostor manastira Treskavca koji se uobličavao kroz vekove života manastira predstavlja jednu od razvijenih formi sakralnih topografija pravoslavnog sveta na balkanskom prostoru.