Lovnica Monastery

The Lovnica Monastery is located at the spring of River Lovnica, in Donje Birče, two kilometres from Šekovići. According to folklore, the monastery was founded by King Dragutin Nemanjić, and was built in the place where the king “hunted the game”, whose beauty impressed the king. According to another folklore, the church miraculously relocated itself, which was first observed by some hunters, who showed the miracle to the masons.
The first written records of the Monastery Lovnica date back to the second half of the 16th century.
There is a record indicating that the iconostasis was made in 1578, after which he famous Peć monk Longin started to paint frescoes on the walls. The frescoed interior of the church that has been preserved to this day is one of the best frescoes from the Ottoman era and the greatest value of the church.
It is precisely because of the preserved frescoes that the Monastery Lovnica belongs to the most important cultural buildings of that era, not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but wider. The Lovnica iconostasis is also valuable, which is also a work by monk Longin, who signed it in 1577/78, while the throne icon of the Holy Mother of God represents one of the most beautiful icons of the Blessed Virgin in the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Lovnica Monastery keeps an octoechos by Božidar Vuković from 1537, printed in Venice.
Owing to Mehmed Pasha Sokolović, who appointed his brother Macarius as the Patriarch, the period of restoration of churches and monasteries began. The Patriarchate of Peć was restored (1557), and resotation of Lovnica Monastery also began at the time,. Since the construction and restoration at the time were allowed only in the places where in the old country existed a church or monastery, it can be concluded that this monastery had existed before the Ottoman rule. For security, the monastery was placed totally under the mountain, to the Lovnica spring.
The Lovnica church is a very simple and single-nave building with a somewhat narrow narthex and a five-sided apse, so that its form of the base is in the form of a reduced, inscribed cross. The church is built of crushed stone and portals, while the portals were made of a carved stone. It resembles the churches in Gomionica, Rmanj, Krka and Krupa. The access road to the church is asphalted.