Monastery Podmaine (Podostrog)

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Podmaine Monastery (serbian "Manastir Podmaine") - Orthodox monastery in the town of Budva, Montenegro, about 2.5 km from the old town of Budva. The monastery is also known as Podostrog. The monastery received its both names from its surroundings: Podostrog - the name of a nearby mountain Ostrog, under which it actually is, and Podmaine - from the nearby countryside Maina (formerly the tribe Maini lived here).

The monastery has a special importance for Montenegro, because in its walls, Metropolitan Petar II Petrovic Njegoš wrote his most famous literary work - "Mountain wreath", considered the greatest memorial of national Montenegrin literature.

The history of the monastery.

The exact time of the foundation of the monastery is unknown, but the legend is associated the foundation of the monastery with Nemanjic dynasty, who ruled these lands in the XII-XIV. According to legend, Saint Sava Serbian went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land exact from this monastery in the XIII century.
A small stone church of the Assumption of Our Lady was built in the monastery in the XV century, which is preserved to this day. Based on available inscriptions in it, it was updated in 1630

In addition, the monastery served as the summer residence of Montenegrin metropolitans. In particular, the founder of the dynasty Petrovic-Njegos and Metropolitan Bishop Daniel often lived there. During his stay, the bridge to the right bank of the river was built. That bridge has survived till now.
Stone bridge in Budva over the river Grcevich, linking the monastery Podmayne (Podostrog) with a mill and a monastic house.
In 1718, according to Treaty of Passarowitz between Venice and Turkey, community area of Maini, along with the monastery was ceded to the Republic of Venice, but the monastery remained in the ownership of Montenegrin metropolitans. In the monastery the Metropolitan Bishop Daniel died on January 4, 1735 and was buried in the small Church of the Assumption.

In 1747, the Montenegrin Metropolitan Sawa Petrovic Njegos laid a new large main church of the Assumption of the Virgin. The church interior was decorated by the artist Raphael Risan Dimitrijevic. The ashes of Metropolitan Daniel were moved into a new church. In 1856, after the closure of the monastery, his remains were moved to the top of the Cross Orlov in Cetinje.

In 1797, the Venetian Republic fell. Its tenure in the Montenegrin seaside - the whole Bay of Kotor and Budva, were ceded to Austria. The Austrians wanted to seize the Podmaine Monastery, to turn it into a fortress, but the Popular Assembly convened by St. Peter of Cetinje, did not allow them to do that. Later, the Austrians asked the lord to sell Podmaine Monastery and Stanjevici and received this answer: "Fill the bare rocks of gold, and then you will not be able to buy me ... What we extracted with sword, we would not give up without it, even if only the heroic blood spilt to the knees".

Successor and nephew of St. Peter - a famous Montenegrin poet and Metropolitan Petar II Petrovic Njegos loved to live here, in a cell with a window to the sea. He built a large terrace with beautiful views of the Budva bay, the island of St. Nicholas, the old town of Budva, and on which he loved to walk when free minutes. Here he wrote his poem about the struggle for the freedom of the Montenegrins "Slobodiada" which devoted to Russian Crown Prince Alexander, the future Tsar Alexander II, and wrote some of his most famous poem "The Mountain Wreath".

In 1837, yielding to the pressure of the Austrians, to which the coastal area of Montenegro passed after the Napoleonic Wars, Peter II Petrovich was forced to sell them the monastery. The Austrians used the monastery complex as a military fort, a prison located in a small church.
In 50s of XIX century, a former monastery was bought for 5570 forints by a priest from the neighboring Main - Filip Tanovic, who supported the building of the monastery in relative safety. Father Philip tried to maintain order in the monastery buildings, and often traveled to Vienna and Russia to gain some help. A rich library of old printed books from Russia Father Philip sold to Vuk Karadzic, who took them away to Vienna.
In 1864 the monastery was badly damaged in fire, in which many monastic values were burnt.
In 1869, during the suppression of the Bokelskoje uprising, Austrians burnt the monastery again, and after that it was not restored.

The monastery remained as a property of the heirs of Tanovic until 1953, when it was nationalized (confiscated) by the state and until 1994 was run by the Institute of Protection of Monuments of Culture of Montenegro.

In 1979, during the terrible earthquake, the monastery buildings were destroyed, but later restored and painted. The monastery was re-opened in 1995.

There are two temples in the monastery now, both dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. A feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary has a special significance in the Serbian Orthodox Church. On this day in 1219 the Serbian Church became autocephalous, and St. Sava I (Rastko Nemanjic) became its first archbishop. Therefore, it is not surprising that many Serbian churches dedicated to this holiday.

The Great Temple of the Assumption was restored and repainted by Vladimir Kirishavich in late 1990 - 2000. It’s interesting, that in the scene of the Last Judgment icon painter has placed a Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito among the sinners in hell.

Little Church of the Assumption is of a very small size, located under the cells of the monastery and reminds catacomb churches of the first Christians. Its length is just 4 meters, width - 2.5 m, above the small church there is a terrace with a beautiful view of the sea.. In the middle of it there is a water tank - "bistierna", decorated with magnificent stone carvings.

Since February 2009, the abbot of the monastery is Raphael Bolevich (born 09/03/1975)

To reach the monastery you can on foot or by taxi (about 5 euros).

Every day in the monastery there is Matin at 5.00 am and evensong at 4.00 pm, liturgy on Sundays and holidays at 8.30. Broyanitsy are also sold there, they are beads made of knots on a strong twine, which resembles a bracelet. Decorate them the face of God’s mother. These bracelets can often be seen on the left wrist among local residents, regardless of their age and status.

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