ONLY a curious tourist leads the way to the village of Palja, about fifty kilometers from Surdulica.
And, only there, in a beautiful landscape at 950 meters above sea level, on the left bank of the river Paljevica, will they find out what kind of heritage this village hides. He will see the monastery of the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God and hear the legend according to which Saint Sava once visited that shrine and that it was in it that he spent the last time on the soil of his Serbia, on the way to Trnovo, where he rested.
The inaccessible terrain and the incredible nature that surrounds the monastery make it a special place that leaves no one indifferent. Based on the archeological research that was carried out during 2006 and 2007, according to the data of the Surdulica Tourist Organization, it was determined that the monastery dates from the 13th century. However, some data from the Serbian Orthodox Church indicate that the shrine dates from the 9th century (more precisely in 818), and that it was renovated in the 13th century.
Then, according to the Serbian Orthodox Church, it was renovated by the Dejanovićs, and the Bulgarian exarchs added a narthex at the end of the 19th century, more precisely after the Berlin Congress in 1878.
Throughout history, the monastery was both male and female, and there were monks in it until the Balkan wars. After the First World War, there was no monasticism in it, and it remained so until Easter 2016, when the monastic community was renewed.
The people gather at this shrine several times a year: on the Holy Prophet Jeremiah (May 14), on Ilindan (August 2) and on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 28).
However, when the weather conditions allow, there are those who visit the sanctuary because they heard that there is a miraculous spring near the monastery. It is a spring of Holy Friday, whose water is believed to be healing.
Recently, above the spring itself, Dr. Natasa Dejanovic Dimitrijevic, a famous artist from Vranje, made a mosaic of the Most Holy Mother of God, above the spring itself. She jokes that maybe some of her ancestors built a monastery, and that she tried to contribute to its beauty.
NOT FAR from the monastery of the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God, there is an old cemetery that is divided. Men were buried on one side, and women across the river on the hill.
Follow us through iOS and android apps