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n Serbia there survive a large number of monuments, dating from the first two decades of the 14th century. These monuments were built by the Serbian kralj Stefan Uros Milutin. The Serbian king was a fervent and active supporter of the Church. His biographer Danilo informs us that Milutin founded 15 churches and monastic institutions in Serbia, Constantinople, Mount Athos, Thessalonike and even in Jerusalem and in the monastery of Mt. Sinai.

Of these monuments, six are situated in Serbia: the church of the Virgin Ljeviska in Prizren (1308/9), St Niketas in Cucer, the church of Christ the Saviour in Zica (ca.1311), the small church of St. Joachim and St. Anne in Studenica (1313/4), St George in Staro Nagoricino (1317) and the church of the Dormition of the Virgin in Gracanica (1321). Some of these - Prizren, Cucer, Staro Nagoricino - were painted by Eutychios and Michael Astrapas of Thessalonike, famous for the wall paintings of St. Kliment (former Virgin Peribleptos).

Stylistically, these monuments follow the new movement in art, that is the style known as the second Palaiologan style, which appears at the beginning of the 14th century and is characterised by a tendency towards refinement, elegance and a classical spirit. The frescoes of St Nicholas Orphanos (1310-1320) in Thessalonike have also been attributed to the patronage of Milutin. They have been associated with the period during which the Serbian kralj was in the city on the occasion of his marriage to Simonis, the daughter of the Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos.

See also: St Kliment, Ohrid