One of the largest Orthodox church in the world

Temple of Saint Sava, Belgrade, Serbia
The Temple of St. Sava in Belgrade, Serbia is a Serbian Orthodox church and the largest Orthodox church in the world. It is also the eighth largest church in the world (at least on one list), after, among others, St. Peter's in Vatican City, Seville Cathedral in Spain, Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and Milan Cathedral in Italy.  

The Temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade is dedicated to the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church, a saint from the early 13th century who was an archbishop, a lawyer and a diplomat who wrote Serbia’s oldest known constitution. He stood as a national symbol for the Serbs during their war with the Ottomans, who burned his remains in 1594 during a Serbian uprising.

Construction on the church began in 1935, but stopped in 1941 in the Second World War when Belgrade was bombed by Germany. The Germans used it as a parking lot, then the Russians did. Construction did not begin again until 1985. The center dome was lifted up by cranes and was completed in 1989. The exterior is complete and the windows and bells are installed, but the internal decorations are still mostly incomplete.

The church is centrally planned, having the form of a Greek Cross. It has a large central dome supported on four pendentives and buttressed on each side by a lower semi-dome over an apse. Beneath each semi-dome is a gallery supported on an arcade.

The dome is 70 m (230 ft) high, while the main gold plated cross is another 12 m (39 ft) high, which gives a total of 82 m (269 ft) to the height Church of Saint Sava. The peak is 134 m (440 ft) above the sea level (64 m (210 ft) above the Sava river); therefore the church holds a dominant position in Belgrade's cityscape and is visible from all approaches to the city.


The church is 91 m (299 ft) long from east to west, and 81 m (266 ft) from north to south. It is 70 m (230 ft) tall, with the main gold-plated cross extending for 12 m (39 ft) more. Its domes have 18 more gold-plated crosses of various sizes, while the bell towers have 49 bells of the Austrian Bell Foundry Grassmayr.


 photo traveltoserbia.com, read more on wikipedia, travel to serbia, st.sava church

St. Sava was born Rastko Namanjic in 1174 in what is now Podgorica, Montenegro. When he became a monk he took the monastic name Sava and founded the monasteris of Hilandar on Mount Athos (a Serbian Orthodox monastery in Greece) and Zica (in Serbia). In 1219 he was named the first Archbishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church by the Patriarch of Constantinople. That same year, he authored the constitution of Serbia. He is considered the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and is canonized by it. The Ottoman Turks, under Sinan Pasha, burned his wooden coffin on April 27, 1595 on a pyre on the spot where the Temple of St. Sava is currently located. This was in response to the Serbs using icons depicting Sava as their war flags.


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