Papraća Monastery

Papraća Monastery is 12 km from Lovnica and is located in the namesake village on the Zvornik-Šekovići road. The River Spreča spring flows through the monastery yard, and the nearby Mount Borogovo adds to the beauty of the monastery. With its dining room that seats about a hundred people, the monastery has a capacity to organise different events, which is of a special interest of non-governmental organisations. Some sessions started with a prayer by the hegumen (abbot) of the monastery.
According to a popular legend, the monastery was built by King Dragutin of Serbia and his sons and, according to another one, the monastery is the endowment of Prefect Vukan who raised the monastery as a sign of repentance for intending to convert to another religion. In an epic poem, the monastery is mentioned as an endowment of Stefan Nemanja, while a legend of the king’s four sisters says that each of the sisters was the patron to a church (in Tavna, Papraća, Lovnica the village of Cikota).
The area of Papraća has been inhabited since the ancient times, as evidenced by the Roman coins found there, as well as many stećak tombstones of medieval cemeteries, but also the old fortress, Perin-grad. The first written records about the monastery are in the the gospel of 1551/52. a gift from for the hegumene from Russia. It is believed that today’s monastery church was built in 1551 and that its construction was helped by Feodor I of Russia. The monks of this monastery had a very close relations with the Russian Church in the years to come as well.
After the Austro-Turkish war, Papraća was neglected, and the abandoned monastery land was given to the Turkish sipahi Ferhat-beg from Buda, who, bereft of his estate in Hungary, came to the Bosnian Eyalet. Restoration of the monastery is linked to 1853 and Hajji Zechariah Popović, a priest from Osmaci, who brought the small bell for the church all the way from Russia.
The Papraća Monastery church is the largest church in Bosnia and Herzegovina and represents a masterpiece of the architecture of the Morava architectural school. With its trefoil base it is similar to famous monasteries in Serbia – Manasija, Ravanica, Ljubostinja. The frescoes of the monastery are not adequately preserved, but they also indicate the features of the Morava style.