Churches and monasteries
The church of St. Ilija in Boljevac was built and frescoed during the regin of Prince Mihajlo Obrenovic in 1861 and the bishop Mihajlo and pontiff Gerasim of Negotin. There is a written inscription to this important event on the western wall of the church, just above the middle portal. The inscription testifies that Boljevac vicar, Milija Petrovic, was also meritorious for construction and fresco painting of the church. Milija Petrovic, having completed his theological studies in Belgrade, practiced his service along with his father, in the village of Ilino which had stood as a parish seat by 1854. The parish seat was transferred from Ilino to Boljevac the same year. Seven years later, again thanks to their initiative, the construction of the church began.
The church was consecrated on 20 July 1863 by the bishopof Timok eparchy, Evgenije, and was dedicated to St. Ilija, the Prophet. The church has been open to its believers ever since. The temple and iconostasis were painted by Milija Markovic along with his son Nikola who was a student of Steva Todorovic, one of the most famous 19th-century painters. The church was built in baroque style by role model of Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Belgrade with its architecture and interior elements as obvious evidence.
As for painiting decor, the church’s iconostasis is richly painted as well as dome’s frescos. The iconostasis is rich in both carvings and frescos depicting the scene from Jesus’ life, depictions of Holy Mother, St. Joan the Baptizer, St. Ilija, icons of apostoles, etc. As for the wall paintings, there are only few frescos on four semi circular valuts which follow the division on four equal parts, where you can see the scenes from Jesus’ life, and allegories such are „The tale on widow’s beauty”, „Merciful Samaritan”, „Jesus’ christening”. „The vision of hell” and „Paradise” are on the western wall.
The church of St. Ilija was protected as cultural monument on 15 May 1980 and since then is under protection of Institute for protection of monuments. The church’s dimensions are: 31.5m in lenght, 13.5m width of its western part, 14.5m of its eastern part, with flank parts where semi-circular valuts are 8.5m.
Krepicevac – the church is located 4 km North to the village of Jablanica in the picturesque landscape of Radovanska River.
Krepicevac is a three-part building, constructed under the influence of Morava school. It was made of stone and plastered consequently. It is a small, simple building with no dome. It was frescoed but little has remained so far. The best preserved parts of frescoes have remained in the porch, where you can find founder’s composition. It is George holding the model of the church in his hand, his wife Zora and their son Mihajlo. This composition is one of more valuable founder’s compositions. All persons in the fresco wear rich robes, which seem up-to-date with the time of the origin of the fresco. There is an inscription next to the founder’s fresco telling us about the monastery’s builder. He was George, the son of Jan (Jovan) with his wife Zora and their son Mihajlo. The other preserved frescos are in altar and nave.
The Krepicevac monastery has build iconostasis with few preserved frescos of Christ, Holy Mother, St. Joan, Annunciation. Krepicevac is a female monastery.
Lapusnja – it is located in the region of the village of Krivi Vir and is dedicated to St. Nicolas. It is semi-ruined monastery today while it used to be significant landmark. The monastery’s church served as cathedral one for the whole region. It was permanent seat of the bishop. It is monumental with 20m in its length and 8,4m in width. From the inscription it could be read that Lord Ivan (Jovan) Radul the Duke and master of all the lands Vlachs, and Georgije built the church in 1510. The construction was funded by Prince Bogoje and Lady Mara. The church was mentioned for the first time in the 1455 Turkish census which means that there had been even older church at the exact place of the present church.
Lapusnja also comprises three-leaved basis with a tall dome, dominating the whole building. It was built as a typical example of Morava school.
Frescos in founder’s compostion are partly preserved where Duke Radul and Prince Bogoje, holding the model of the church, can be seen. Behind Blagoje stands Lady Mara, while behind Duke Radul is his wife Natalina. Monastery had been active by the end of the 17th century.
Lozica church is situated at the foot of Mt. Rtanj, 3km away from the village of Krivi Vir, left from the Paracin-Zajecar motorway. It is dedicated to St. Archangel Michel. It has not been explored throughly yet, so we cannot tell the exact date of its counstruction. The only known fact about its origin is the 1455 Turkish census when it was mentioned for the first time. There are assumptions that the church used to be monastery. It is thought to have been built in the 15th century.
It is known that it was first restored in 1680 and then in 1850. The church is of three-leafed basis, also built in Morava school with octagonal dome, made of stone and then plastered. The frescos probably belong to the period of second restoration, but it is likely that below them one can find even older frescos. Iconostasis is rather newer. It is believed that the church used to serve as a monastery but today it is used as parish church for the village of Krivi Vir, though it is not close to the village itself.