Influenced by Byzantine, Romanesque and baroque architecture, Serbian monasteries are stylistically diverse and are well known for their distinguished religious art. In fact, here you can see some of the most exquisite mediaeval frescoes painted in the Byzantine style.As the creation of these monasteries was inextricably tied to the emergence of the Serbian state, medieval Serbian rulers spared no expense when erecting these majestic buildings, where they were both crowned and interned.
In the Middle Ages, the church was the centre of spirituality and culture in most European countries. Serbian monasteries thus soon developed into important centres of education and culture. Through the hardest and darkest of times, Serbian monasteries were the guardians of national identity of the Serbian people.
Serbia has more than two hundred monasteries, of which 54 have been designated cultural monuments, while several mediaeval Serbian shrines enjoy international protection. Thus, the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites includes Stari Ras with Sopoćani, Studenica monastery and mediaeval Serbian monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija – Dečani, Gračanica, the Partiarchate of Peć and Our Lady of Ljeviš.