Hercegovina Gračanica

The tourist complex Hercegovačka Gračanica is the most visited location of sacred character in eastern Herzegovina. Herzegovinian Gračanica was built as a fulfillment of the wish of the famous Serbian poet Jovan Dučić expressed in his will. He wanted to be buried on one of the hills surrounding Trebinje in a church similar to “the one in Kosovo”, referring to Kosovo Gračanica, the most famous endowment of King Milutin from 1321. Jovan Dučić died in 1943, on April 7, the feast of the Annunciation. On that same day in 1999, the foundation stone for the construction of Herzegovinian Gračanica was laid on Crkvina Hill (at the location where, according to some reports, there was the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, an endowment of King Milutin). The entire Hercegovačka Gračanica complex was completed the following year, in 2000. On the feast of the Annunciation (47 years after the poet’s death), in 2000, Dučić’s mortal remains were transferred to Hercegovačka Gračanica. Herzegovinian Gracanica is not identical to the one in Kosovo. Namely, it is smaller by one level, and the interior has certain differences. The church was built in the Byzantine style and is vividly painted in the so-called. “secco” technique (dry painting technique) under the strong influence of the famous Greek icon painter Stamatis Skliris. Inside the church, there are 16 pillars, 15 of which are square, while one is rounded and has a special significance and symbolism. At its foot, there is a stone brought from Kosovska Gračanica, which has the symbolism of a “stone from the hearth” that conveys the spirit of the “old home” to the “new home”. On the floor of Herecgovačka Gračanica is a mosaic replica from the Prizren Monastery of the Holy Archangels (Metohija), an endowment of Emperor Dušan, and it also has strong symbolism. At the very entrance to the church, a “serpent” is presented, which personifies the devil, so that visitors entering the church step on the “unholy” and thus renounce him. The iconostasis is a faithful copy of the iconostasis from the Hilandar monastery on Mount Athos. It was made at the Tvrdoš monastery. On the right side of the church is the poet’s grave with a modest inscription “Jovan Dučić – poet”, written according to his wishes. As part of the complex, next to the church, there is also a bell tower, bishop’s palace, an amphitheater, a souvenir shop and the summer restaurant “Dučićev pogled”. Over time, Gračanica became a favorite place for couples to get married. In the church itself, one of the most impressive motifs is the “Wedding in Cana of Galilee”.


Map legend:
Accommodation Accomodation marker icon
Restaurant Restaurant marker icon
Travel Agency Travel Agency marker icon
Winery Winery marker icon
Adventure Adventure and outdoor marker icon
Culture Culture and Heritage marker icon
Gastro Gastro marker icon
Town Town marker icon