A crypt in the St. Sava Temple
7m below the largest Orthodox temple in the Balkans and one of the most monumental in the world, you can find an unusual room.
The most monumental Orthodox temple in the Balkans, the St. Sava Temple is located in the well-known Belgrade municipality Vracar. The construction of the temple, situated in the east part of the Saint Sava square, 79m high, lasted for a very long time and was only finalised in 2002. The construction was financed from the charity and the sales of postal stamps. The temple was built in the Serbian-Byzantine style, with four bell towers 44m high, and the domes are decorated with 18 gold plated crosses, the largest being the one on the highest dome and is 10m tall. The bell towers have a total of 49 bells of the famous Austrian Bell Foundry Grassmayr. The temple’s location and the peak of 134 m above the sea level make it visible from all approaches to the city. It has a surface area of 3,500 m2 on the ground floor, with 1,620 m2 of galleries located on two levels. The second level offers a fantastic view stretching around the entire dome of the temple. The temple, located on the St. Sava square, next to Karadjordje Park and the Serbia National Library make this part of Vracar extremely popular among the city visitors. The area surrounding the temple is among the most favourite walking areas and meeting place of Belgrade residents from Vracar. The decorative lighting solutions, the monuments dedicated to St. Sava and Karadjordje, the fountain, the public well and two playgrounds for children are all the good reasons for you to stop by this monumental building. The bar owners were clever and opened a lot of bars and restaurants in this part of Vracar, so you’ll be able to spend a lot of time here, even if you didn’t initially plan that.
What made this Temple even more appealing to visitors was actually built underneath the Temple and is becoming more and more attractive to tourists. In the underground area of the Temple, 7m below the ground, you can find the burial church with the crypt and the exhibition area and the treasury of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The church is dedicated to the Holy Prince Lazar and together with the crypt and the treasury stretches across the area of 1,810sqm. The altar of the burial church is placed beneath the altar in St Sava Temple. The bronze doors from the left and right-hand side of the altar provide an access to the burial part of the crypt. This entire underground area, except for the Patriarch’s crypt, makes a single visual whole. The domes are decorated and made of concrete and lifted onto the pillars. The ceiling of the crypt is wonderfully decorated. The images of apostles, martyrs and saints cover the ceiling, and the space between them is covered by the gold leaves. The walls are also covered by imagery and the entire area is dominated by gold colour patterns. The inside of the crypt is also richly decorated with relief art.
The crypt is intended to be the burial place of earthly remains of Serbian patriarchs, and with the permission of the Synod, the relics of prominent patriarchs should be removed here, and especially the relics of patriarch Varnava, who was involved in the very beginning of the St Sava Temple construction process, in early XX century. In terms of architecture, the crypt is an independent underground faciltiy, in Byzantine style, with four entrances. The foundation stone was sanctified and included the note on the start of the construction works and now is on display on the dome above.
In addition to religious rituals which naturally take place in this predominantly religious facility, you can enjoy in a number of cultural events, such as exhibitions, gatherings and concerts, which are unique experience, due to the spectacular acoustic features of this area.
If you’re planning to visit Belgrade, we are strongly recommending that you visit the St. Sava Temple and to inform about the events here and the possibility to visit the Crypt. We suggest thay you check out our web site Novi Apartmani and select some of the most exquisite apartments under the section Vracar. This will be a perfect way for all of you to enjoy the comfort and be in a perfect position to visit this important Belgrade and Serbian landmark.