Thematic route: The cultural heritage route
Name of the attraction: Vratna Monastery
Location: Negotin, municipality of Negotin, Bor district, Eastern Serbia, Republic of Serbia.
The Monastery is located 40 kilometers away from Negotin, and only 3 km away from the nearby village of Vratna.
Description: Vratna Monastery is located in a beautiful part of the valley of the Jabuca River, on the very exit from the gorge, at the foot of the famous Vratna Gates. They were made by this river erosion. The first gate towards the monastery is called Veliki Prerast (the Big Gate), the second is called Mali Prerast (the Small Gate) and the third is Suvi Prerast (the Dry Gate).
No one is certain about who founded Vratna Monastery, given the scarcity of the historical data and the lack of the written sources, but we can certainly say that the monastery existed in the late 14th century. The monastery was not preserved in its original beauty and size whereas in its long history, was repeatedly burned and devastated. The monastery was recorded in Longer’s map with the symbol of a church with the inscription “Raedno”. In a map made in Timișoara it was recorded as monastery Bratna. The monastery was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, but in the second half of the 18th century it was completely abandoned. It was restored during the First Serbian Rising in 1813. It was renewed by Stanko Frajkor who became the Duke of Negotin District after 1813, but in 1813, the monastery was burnt again and again renovated in 1837. It was then renewed by Jon Tajkulica who came from Romania. The monastery itself was built in 1856. The monastery church is dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord. Among the older frescoes, the preserved ones of the saints are on the west wall: scenes from the Gospels, St. Macarius, Zosim and Mary of Egypt, and the head of Christ the Savior in the apse of the proscomidia. Not far from the wall above the monastery there is a half demolished Hermitage – St. Nicodemus of Tasmania’s cell.
Legend/ Story/ Impressions/ Recommendations: According to one legend the village of Vratna was revived by immigrants about 200 years ago. It is also said that Filaret, the monk of the monastery founded the village as “Prnjavor”, because he gave the servants the land instead of the wages and they were still “monastery-owned workers”. This type of relationship existed until the liberation of Krajina in 1833. These stories are evidenced by the fact that today there is still a part of the arable land in Vratna called “the monks’ field”.
Conditions: The monastery can be reached on foot, by bike, by car or by bus
Information and contacts:
Phone: +381 19 558 127
Tourism Organization of Negotin Municipality
Address: Kraljevica Marka 6, 19300 Negotin
Phone: +381 19547555
Route close to other thematic route: At 40 km away from Vratna Monastery, in Negotin, there are: the central building of the Museum of Krajina, the Memorial House of Stevan Mokranjac, the Museum of Haiduk Veljko, the old church of the Birth of the Holy Virgin, the Holy Trinity Church, the powder mill (the only remnant of the fortress Baba Finka). Not far from the town there is Bukovo Monastery. At 25 km away from Negotin there is the archaeological site Vrelo-Sarkamen, and at about 20 km from the town there are the wine cellars of Rajac and Rogljevo.
Other useful information: The area of the Municipality Negotin is linked by a whole range of transport network with the Danube and Corridor 10 and the international border crossings with Romania and Bulgaria. Via Djerdap main road, this area is linked to the regional roads: Negotin-Donji Milanovac and Negotin-Kladovo. The network and the quality of the local roads at the territory of Negotin municipality is at satisfactory level. One can reach Negotin from Belgrade via the international road E 75 through Paracin (300 km), Smederevo, Pozarevac and Majdanpek (290 km), or via the Danube main road, through Donji Milanovac (250 km). The distance from Nis is 150 km, from Zajecar-57. The nearest town is Vidin in Bulgaria 55 km and the nearest city from Romania is Turnu Severin-80 kilometers.
GPS coordinates: lat, long:44.382482, 22.340351