Monastery of the Presentation of Mary (Upper Church) 

The monastery church is dedicated to the Presentation of Mary (Vavedenje Bogorodice) (December 4)

It is not known for sure when the Upper Church (Gornja crkva) in Sremski Karlovci was built. Archaeological research shows that the temple dates from the 16th century, from the time before the Ottoman conquest of Srem, and that it can be connected to the Branković family of Srem by the way it was built. There are researchers who believe that the Upper Church was founded as a monastery temple at the end of the 17th century. The written information about the temple is from the beginning of the 18th century. It is also known that it was damaged after the Battle of Petrovaradin in 1716 and that it was soon rebuilt.

The Upper Church was reconstructed and upgraded on several occasions during the 18th and 19th centuries. Patriarch Arsenije IV Jovanović Šakabenta was responsible for its renovation in the first half of the 18th century, when the bell tower was renovated along with the temple, as evidenced by the plaque on its western side. Major renovations of the temple were also carried out during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the last one in that period was organized and financed by Patriarch Georgije Branković. The church contains a crypt of Serbian patriarchs built in 1905, in which Serbian patriarchs Georgije Branković and Lukijan  Bogdanović were buried. In the churchyard there are burial places of famous archiereus, priests and citizens of Sremski Karlovci. The reconstruction and renovation of the Upper Church, which was declared a monastery in 2016, began at the end of the 20th century, and a monastery konak was built within it.

The Baroque iconostasis of the church is the work of Dimitrije Bačević from the second half of the 18th century. Wall paintings and gilding were done by Georgije Bakalović in the third decade of the 19th century, but wall paintings have been preserved in traces. At the entrance gate of the monastery courtyard there was a fresco of the Presentation of Mary (Vavedenje Bogorodice), which does not exist today.

Upper Church was the metochion of the Hilandar Monastery – it was where the monks prepared to go to the famous Serbian monastery in Greece. This is where the particle of the relic of St. Nectarios of Aegina and riza of St. Petka are located. In addition to valuable church books from the 18th and 19th centuries, the temple also possessed gold-woven robes, a gift from Princess Ljubica Obrenović, which are now located in the Treasury of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Sremski Karlovci. The church had four worship (celivajuće) icons, the work of Teodor Kračun from the second half of the 18th century. One of Kračun’s icons depicting the Virgin with women often represented one of the most significant achievements of the Baroque art of the Karlovac Metropolitanate at international exhibitions.

In the monastery, in addition to the Presentation of Mary, St. Petka is also celebrated, the Translation of the relic of St. Nicholas (Sv. Nikola) and St. Nektarios (Sv. Nektarije).

Liturgy schedule: Sundays and church holidays at 9 a.m., Saturdays and weekdays at 7 a.m., evening worship services are at 6 p.m.

TOURIST INFORMATION: Decent dress is implied. Group visits must be announced a day or two in advance. Phone: +381 (0)63 869 8996.


Sremski Karlovci, Serbia