Poganovo, Sukovo Monastery and Cave church
Pirot and around
Around Pirot is great nature. Must see are Stara mountain as one of natures pearls in Europe, resort Temac with Temšica river and St.Gorge monastery (built in 14th century), Poganovo resort and monastery (St. John the Theologian dates from 1395) with same name, Zavojsko lake, Sukovo monastery (Monastery of Ascension of the Holy Virgin from 19th century) etc. Poganovo monastery is located about 25km from Pirot.
St. John the Theologian, is monastery in Poganovo village in Dimitrovgrad town and in Pirot county. It is very small village, but well known for its nature and this old monastery. It was robbed small number of times till now and works on its restoration started in last century. Because it’s age of creation and great beauty it is protected by State of Serbia and UNESCO. When we are talking about what to visit in Serbia, this is for sure one great history monument too.
Monastery Sukovo, or The Monastery of Ascension of the Holy Virgin as its real name is, is located abut 18km from Pirot. Exact date of founding the monastery is unknown. But in today shape and form it is founded in middle of 19th century (1859). Experience and beauty of this village is maximized with river Jerma beauty.
It’s located in the middle of the wood, so it preserved its originality and native look. The church of monastery is rebuilt and renewed and all Sukovo monastery looks phenomenal. You have old mulberry tree with beautiful grass field in front of sleeping area.
From there you can see church above. The monks and nuns are great, always greeting people. This monastery has production of dairy products. You can buy them from the monastery and give your contribution in that way. This monastery turn to nunnery in 1945. and after few years part of it collapsed. Recently, it is renewed. and from few years ago with new brotherhood.
This, very interesting monastery is one of 72 Serbian Orthodox objects in this part of the country. And also, it is very famous of it’s monastery fresco and products. The historic traces in foundation here say that it was holy ground long ago. Maybe even in fourth century.
Legends of Saint Christopher
There are few legends about this Saint on this unique fresco. But one thing is certain, this is one and only time of representing him in this way.
By the first legend, he was very good looking person during his life. And females were chasing him a lot, because of his good looks. That’s why he prayed to God to have horse face, to be safe and peaceful in future.
By second legend, he was citizen of tribes located in bordering parts of country. Those tribes were described in ancient Rome as animalistic and wild, impure. That is why ho got it’s animal head here. This is case in Orthodox churches, but not in Catholic ones.
St Peter and Paul church or Bold Jesus church
Church of St. Peter and Paul, Cave Church, is most unique church in all Christianity for few things. One of them is that this church is cave church, which is rare.
Other thing is that in this church is only fresco of Jesus Christ known as “Young Jesus“, or “Bold Jesus”, where he is portrayed as young and bold. This church probably dates from 13th century.
Poganovo monastery photos by МикоCC BY-SA 3.0; St John of Rila and St Joachim of Osogovo (Sarandapor) – a fresco from Poganovo monastery (end of 15th century) by Nikolov2010; Bottom photos entrance of the cave church in Rsovci, Pirot, Serbia, Djordje Marković and Unknown author CC BY-SA 3.0 Sukovo, poganovo and St.Christophor photos are by Miloš Vulić