Vaganes Church

ABOUT

The church dedicated to the Ascension of the Theotokos (Holy Mother of God), in the vicinity of Novo Brdo, was built in 1354-55. Its founder was Serbian landowner Dabiziv with his brothers Haran and Bogoje, father Kaluger and mother Visnja, which is evidenced by three inscriptions, two carved in stone and one fresco painted.

The church is a one-nave edifice, vaulted, with semi-circular altar apse and a narthex was added later. Restoration of the church during the Turkish reign and the absence of the roof for the long time caused the disappearance of the most part of the fresco paintings, and those which survived are very damaged.

Of the frescoes in the altar apse only fragments remain - parts of one figure from the Officiating Church Fathers, parts of the Holy Virgin's Throne, bust of an archdeakon in the Diaconicon niche and a fragment of the apse dado decoration.

On the West part of the South wall of the nave, a fragment of the Christ before Anna and Caiaphas, and on the West wall just a figure of one of the saint Melodists.

Biggest number of the preserved frescoes are in the narthex. In the lower zone of the South wall there are frescoes of the standing figures of an Archangel, a Holy Warrior, and a Saint - possibly St. Sava the Serbian and St. Marina killing a demon.

Also on the South wall of the Narthex, in the middle zone, there's a washed out and pretty damaged founder's composition with three figures. As the inscriptions are not preserved, we can only presume that it represents members of the founder's family - founder Dabiziv and probably his wife and child. Next to this fragment, on the Western part of the wall, there's a scene of St. George saving the king's daughter.

On the South part of the Narthex vault three scenes from the Life of the Virgin are partially preserved - Annunciation to Anna, Annunciation to Joachim and the Meeting of Joachim and Anna.

Conservation works, carried out in 1963, restored the original appearance of the Vaganes church only partially.