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Eight Centuries of Serbian Hilandar Monastery
Eight centuries ago, Byzantium Emperor Aleksei III gave a hrisovulja (an act or declaration) which grants Monastery Hilandar and the region around the monastery to be an "eternal present to the Serbs". He gave the act to St. Sava and his father St. Simeon (Stevan Nemanja). From this moment, Hilandar Monastery was for centuries to come, home to Serbs, Serbian religion and culture.
Many Serbian kings contributed to the enlargement and extension of the Hilandar. The Monastery Hilandar is located at the Aegean Sea in Greece, in the peninsula Mont. Athos. Through the past eight centuries, the Hilandar Monastery was the inspiration and enlightenment for the Serbian people.
Hilandar reaches its blooming during the period of the Nemanjiches. The number of monks was steadily increasing. On the Holy Mount, in those sacred times, thousand of monks were gathering and transmitting their knowledge, living heroic lives. Almost all our writers from the Middle Ages from St. Sava to Constantine the Philosopher, came out of the Hilandar school.
Many Serbian rulers from the Middle Ages carved their souls into the holy Hilandar walls. The King Milutin built the new cathedral, around 1300, on the spot of an old one, decorating it with frescoes, and dedicating it to the Presentation of the Holy Virgin. Milutin's example followed by czar Dusan, by his building and fortifying of the monastery. In the 14th century, the holiest of all Serbians dukes - Lazar, has built another vestibule in front of the cathedral. During the past centuries, twelve more of this small churches - chapels were built. The lodging shelters were built and reconstructed, the dining room was renewed, water-tanks were rebuilt, the kitchen as well, and the entrance into the monastery.
Hilandar acquired its today's shape at the beginning of the 19th century. Hilandar's old garments are today being redecorated with fast speed.
A Never-Ending Prayer
"The Holy Mount is an empire with no crown, a state with no army, a country with no women, a fortune with no money, wisdom with no books, a kitchen with no meat, a never-eating prayer, a never-ending link with the heavens, on Ode to never-tiring Christ, death with no mourning."
Nikolai Velimirovich, the Episcope