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SAINT JOVAN-VLADIMIR MONASTERY

+355 67 269 04 67

Petit Futé's opinion on SAINT JOVAN-VLADIMIR MONASTERY

Plate millesim 2022

This Orthodox monastery (Manastiri i Shën Joan Vladimirit) was founded in the early 11th century along the Zaranika River. It is nowadays wedged between the highway and abandoned barracks. But it is worth a visit for its pleasant garden and its catholicon (main church) decorated with a fresco of the great painter Kostandin Shpataraku (1736-1767). The complex is dedicated to St. Jovan Vladimir (c. 970-1016), a Serbian prince of Dioclea canonized by the Orthodox Churches. He was taken prisoner by the Bulgarian tsar Samuel and married his daughter Theodora Kosara around the year 1000. The tsar entrusted him with the fiefs of Elbasan and Durrës. Jovan Vladimir lived devoutly until he was murdered by Samuel's nephew and successor, Ivan Vladislav. According to the legend, the latter was killed during the siege of Durrës in 1018 by the miraculous apparition of St. Jovan Vladimir. The monastery was built to house the relics of the saint. It was remodeled in 1381 by Karl Thopia (1331-1388) and houses his tomb. A dedication left by this Albanian prince indicates in Greek, Latin and Serbian that he was "the blood nephew of the King of France". Karl Thopia was in fact the illegitimate son of the daughter of Robert of Naples, great-grandson of the French king Louis VIII. The fresco of Shpataraku, awaiting restoration, is on the apse of the catholicon, in the part reserved for the officiating clergy. But the priest who occupies the place is delighted to show it.

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Visit possible during the day - proper attire required.

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