Monasteries Herzegovacka Gracanica in Trebinje
– special magnificent building from 2000 - is dedicated to Mother of God. Obeying wish of poet Jovan Ducic, expressed in his will, the temple of the Mother of God was raised on hill Crkvina, in which Ducic was buried. This temple is a true copy of the monastery of Gracanica on Kosovo i Metohija and because of that it is also called Hercegovacka Gracanica. This religious complex includes bell, icon gallery, parish’s home, amphitheater, fountain, church bookshop, museum and summer garden restaurant. The temple can be seen from any point in Trebinje and it is the most beautiful sacral building in the whole Herzegovina. It was the poet’s wish to be buried in Trebinje, so, his mortal remains were moved from America to Hercegovacka Gracanica in October of 2000.
Tvrdos (the 4th-6th century)
Monastery Tvrdos, which is 4.5 km faraway from Trebinje, on the road to Mostar, has been built on the foundations of an old church. It was existing in continuity from the Late Antiquity (the 4th-6th century) but it was frequently destroyed and reconstructed. In 1694 it was devastated in the fights between Venetians and Turks. On that occasion the whole monastery’s treasury was taken to monastery Savina near Herceg Novi, where it has been still kept. At the beginning of the 16th century the monastery was painted by Dubrovnik’s icon-painter Vicko Lovrov and Trebinje’s monk Marko Stefanov. In the first half of the 16th century monastery of Tvrdos was the biggest writing-room in Slovene south, and, at the same time, it was cultural and spiritual centre of the wider area. St Paul and Peter’s (the 6th century) St Paul and Peter’s monastery is located in Peter’s field, 5 kilometers southeast from Trebinje. New church was built at the beginning of 20th century on the foundations of old one, which allegedly dates back to Justinian’s age (6th century). Archeological finds have testified to very old buildings that there were at the place of current monastery, probably from the age of early Christianity. Monastery’s complex is consisted of the apostle Peter’s temple (raised in 1906 on the remains of older temple), the remains of the apostle Paul’s temple and residence.
Duzi (the 16th century) Monastery Duzi has been consecrated to the cover of Mother of God. It is situated on the left shore of the Trebisnjica River, 10km downstream of Trebinje. In the 16th and 17th century it was the property of the monastery Tvrdos. When Tvrdos was destroyed metropolitan bishop and monks moved to Duzi in 1695. They restored and enlarged the church and property, which still has been well known by the same name. Until the end of existing of Pecka Patrijarsija in 1776, this monastery was the centre of metropolitan bishop of Herzegovina. It was robbed and devastated several times. The monastery possesses valuable hand-written church books, even Russian editions from Moskva and Kijev. There is also a fragment of honorable cross in it.
Zavala (the 13th century) Monastery Zavala is 40 kilometers remote from Trebinje in southwest. Folk oral tradition has it that the monastery is pious endowment of king Dragutin. When the time of its foundation is discussed, the year 1271 is often mentioned, which is inscribed in an old monastery’s stamp. Here, at the beginning of the 17th century, well- known painter Georgije Mitrofanovic stayed. Before his going to Zavala he brightly painted monastery Hilandar on Holy Mountain. In Herzegovina, apart from this monastery, he also painted monastery Dobricevo, near Bileca.
Monastery Dobrićevo (XIII vijek) One of the most outstanding monuments of our cultural-historic past is for sure monastery Dobricevo. It is considered to date from the 18th century. There is the legend which says that the monastery was built by Tsar Konstantin and empress Jelena after they returned from Rome. While they were staying at this place and having a rest they commented: “It was good”, and according to that the monastery got the name Dobricevo. The church is built in Byzantine style, in the shape of cross, and is consecrated to Mother of God. In its history the monastery was burnt three times, the first time in 1694, the second time in the period of the First World War and the third time in the period of the Second World War. The monastery, as well as all other objects around it, is not in old place. During construction of hydro-electric power plant Trebisnjica it was endangered of ending up under the water. So, during 1959, Terrestrial Institute for protection of cultural monuments of NRBiH formed commission which considered problems of saving of monastery Dobricevo. They concluded that the monastery should be placed to some other location. Before that the monastery was placed on the high ground on right side of Trebisnjica River, at the border of Herzegovina-Montenegro. New Dobricevo is placed about 10 kilometers from Bileca and it is about 20 kilometers away from Trebinje.