Monday, December 27, 2010

The Ruzica Church at Kalemegdan, Belgrade, shows God’s blessing on a convalescing nation.

Ruzica Church - Kalemegdan, Belgrade, Serbia
 The quaint Ruzica Church, hugging the wall of Kalemegan fortress, should be high on the wish-list of every visitor to Belgrade, Serbia. In the summer it’s entirely covered in green ivy, making it one of the most appreciated churches in the world and a symbol of Belgrade’s recuperation.

Ruzica means Little Rose, or Rosie (the diminutive of Ruza), although its official name is Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God. Belgradians started calling it Ruzica when a local legend began to take root.

The story goes that once, some six centuries ago, there were two ruling brothers Jaksici, who together had three daughters: Dragica (after draga meaning precious; darling), Ljubica (after ljubav, meaning to love; beloved) and Ruzica; little rose. The brothers built three churches; one for each daughter. The churches were originally named after saints but the people of Belgrade rendered them the names of the three Jaksici daughters.

Ruzica Church Interior - Belgrade, Serbia

Wars destroyed the churches of Dragica and Ljubica, and only the church of Ruzica remained, even when the Turks invaded and occupied Serbia. When the Austrians conquered Belgrade, they made Rose Church into a gun powder store. The Turks retaliated, drove out the Austrians but recognized the merits of Rose Church as an arsenal.

Late nineteenth century the Turks were kindly asked to leave Belgrade to the Belgradians, and after some inventive incentives they actually went. Rose Church was cleared from ammo and reinstated as a church.

Chandelier Ruzica Church - Belgrade, Serbia
 Since Rose Church is located at Kalemedgan, an ancient battle fortress, remnants of war abounded. To commemorate the persistence of the Serbs and their Rose Church, some of the spent bullets, swords and other weaponry that were unearthed during clean up were collected and made into striking chandeliers.

That the church is now entirely covered in green vegetation is unanimously recognized to be a sign from God: Rose lives and will forever.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings from Belgrade, my friend. Thank you for your nice survey. I can tell you that you are feeling us very well and that you had recognized that we are more spiritual then rational, and that we are more European than Europe are aware of it in last ten years. Thank you. Ana


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