Their Royal Highnesses Prince Philip and Princess Danica of Serbia paid a two-day visit to Kosovo and Metohija over the weekend. The two royals wanted to visit culturally important places for Serbian culture and meet Serbs living in these areas.
On Saturday, the visit to Kosovo and Metohija began with a mass in the Monastery of the Holy Archangels near Prizren, built in 1352. The journey then went to the village of Prizren. The royals visited St. George’s Cathedral where the royals where welcomed by the Serbian orthodox priest Jovan and his family. After visiting the Cathedral the Serbian prince and Princess visited St. Nicholas Church. According to tradition, there were once 365 Orthodox churches in Prizren.
The visit then continued to the newly restored Seminary of Saint Cyril and Methodius in Prizren. His Royal Highness said upon this visit: “The restored Seminary of Saint Cyril and Methodius in Prizren represents a hope that Serbs can stay and survive in Kosovo and Metohija. Yet, for that survival, they need us all united and conscious of who we are and what we are.”
The visit then continued to the Zo Ciste monastery, where the royals paid their respect to the tomb of Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian. The monastery was built in the 14th century. It was completely demolished in 1999, when monks were evacuated. The church was restored after the efforts of Abbot Stefan and the fraternity in 2004.
The visit then continued to the small village of Velika Hoca, the town was the home of 700 Serbs before the civil unrest in the 1990s. Today only 120 Serbs are left. Life in the village is hard and many live without water and electricity. Prince Philip and Princess Danica showed their respect at the local monument dedicated to the Serbs before this village son died during the war in the 1990s and early 2000s. In the Middle Ages, Velika Hoča was a strong economical and spiritual centre with 24 churches and three monasteries.
The visit continued with a service in the local church in the village of Orahovac. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the most beautiful and valuable monuments in Serbian medieval architecture. The two-day stay in Kosovo and Metohija was concluded with a visit to the Pec Patriarchate, the centuries old seat of the Serbian Archbishop and Patriarchs.