January 30, 2013

0490 SERBIA (Belgrade) - Saint Mark's Church in Belgrade

Because of the growth of the city, it became necessary by the beginning of the 20th century to build a bigger church in the Belgrade quarter of Palilula, but the wars didn't allow this until 1930, when Petar and Branko Krstić designed the plans for a new church dedicated to Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark. This was built between 1931 and 1940, but was consecrated and opened for divine service only in 1948. The church was built in the spirit of Serbian medieval buildings, using as a model the endowment of King Milutin, Gračanica Monastery, located near Priština, one of the four churches and monasteries included in 2004 on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Medieval Monuments in Kosovo. The external walls are in two colors of natural materials in the Serbian-Byzantine building method. It has 62m long and 45m wide, and the height of the main cupola to the base of the cross is 60m.

More than seventy years after the beginning of its construction, Saint Mark's Church hasn't been completed. For exemple the floor of the soleia was done in 1991, and the iconostasis, designed by Zoran Petrović, dates back to 1991-1992. As one enters the church, along the south wall, is the tomb of Stefan Dušan,  Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks (r. 1346-1355), designed by Dragomir Tadić, where his relics rest after being transferred from his endowment. On the opposite side is the tomb of Patriarch German of Serbia. Below the narthex is the crypt, where are the tombs of many bishops, but also of King Alexander Obrenović and Queen Draga (r. 1889-1903), Ana Jovana Obrenović (1880), Princes Milan M. Obrenović (1819-1839) and Sergije M. Obrenović (1878), and the grave of the patron endower of the old church, Lazar Panća. The church treasury is presently located in a room on the south side and contains a rich collection of icons and precious artifacts.

About the stamp
The stamp is one of the two issued in 2009 for Christmas, which show two frescoes made by the Ukrainian painter Jov Vasilijevic in 1749:
Nativity of Christ (22 ZIN)
Epiphany (46 ZIN) - it's on the postcard

St. Mark's Church, Belgrade - Wikipedia

sender: Ana Popović (direct swap)
sent from Belgrade (Serbia), on 26.07.2012

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