GRACANICA, KOSOVO - JULY 27,2014 - Gracanica is Orthodox monastery located in Kosovo. Gracanica was constructed on the ruins of an older 13th-century church of the Holy Virgin.; Shutterstock ID 209970181

Shutterstock / milosk50

Gračanica Monastery


Southeast of Pristina in the Serbian town of Gračanica is the ancient Gračanica Monastery, completed in 1321 by Serbian king Milutin. The monastery, which is set on large, grassy grounds, is one of the most attractive in Kosovo. You will first enter the monastery chapel through the main doors. The medieval-era paintings here are impressive enough but the real treat is saved for the smaller side, chapel, which is an enchanted cavern of vivid, lifelike murals.

Visitors must dress respectably (that means no shorts or sleeveless tops for anyone, and headscarves for women) and photos are forbidden inside the building. From Pristina, take a Gjilan-bound bus (50c, 15 minutes, every 30 minutes); the monastery's on your left as you enter the centre of town. A taxi from Pristina costs around €7 one-way. It's worth combining a visit here with the nearby Bear Sanctuary.

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