Frescoes of Sts. Peter and Paul Monastery in Herzegovina

In rocky Herzegovina, not far from the city of Trebinje, there sits the Monastery of Sts. Peter and Paul. Church Tradition preserves testimony that the apostles Paul and Titus passed through the area and preached on their way to Dalmatia. In the mountains, not far from the monastery is St. Paul’s cave, where the apostle stayed. The churches of the monastery date back to ancient times, as evidenced by the architectural excavations and scholarly research conducted there.

The larger Basilica of the Apostle Peter was restored back in 1906 by the efforts of the hieromartyr Metropolitan Peter Zimonjic, who suffered from the Croatian Ustaše in 1941. The smaller church is dedicated to the apostle Paul. It was in a dilapidated state for centuries but was fully restored in 2007. In fact, it was built over the existing basilica, on a triconch1 plan. The remains of the ancient basilica and baptistery are carefully preserved within it. It is now an active church where the Divine Liturgy is again celebrated. In its original fresco iconography, the events of the apostolic age and the history of the Serbian Church are intertwined.

Photos and text by Hieromonk Ignaty (Shestakov), translated by Jesse Dominick

Church of the Apostle Paul, before restoration, 2006

Church of the Apostle Paul, before restoration, 2006

Church of the Apostle Paul, 2015

Church of the Apostle Paul, 2015

Church of the Apostle Paul, 2015

Church of the Apostle Paul, 2015

Christ the Pantocrator

Christ the Pantocrator

The Virgin Orans

The Virgin Orans

Apostle Peter

Apostle Peter

Remains of the ancient church and baptistery

Remains of the ancient church and baptistery

Scenes from the life of the apostle Paul

Scenes from the life of the apostle Paul

Apostle Paul preaching in Herzegovina

Apostle Paul preaching in Herzegovina

Apostle Paul and St. Sava of Serbia

Apostle Paul and St. Sava of Serbia

Apostle Paul preaching at the Areopagus

Apostle Paul preaching at the Areopagus

Christ Emmanuel

Christ Emmanuel

The Crucifixion of Christ

The Crucifixion of Christ

St. Basil of Ostrog, Metropolitan of Herzegovina

St. Basil of Ostrog, Metropolitan of Herzegovina

St. Joseph the Hymnographer

St. Joseph the Hymnographer

Holy Martyr Prince Lazar

Holy Martyr Prince Lazar

Sts. John of Damascus and Maximus the Confessor

Sts. John of Damascus and Maximus the Confessor

St. Symeon the Myrrhgusher and the Proto-Martyr Archdeacon Stephen

St. Symeon the Myrrhgusher and the Proto-Martyr Archdeacon Stephen

St. Justin (Popovic) of Celije

St. Justin (Popovic) of Celije

Sts. John (Maximovitch), Nektarios of Aegina, and Nikolai (Velimirovic)

Sts. John (Maximovitch), Nektarios of Aegina, and Nikolai (Velimirovic)

St. Arsenije Sremac, Archbishop of Serbia

St. Arsenije Sremac, Archbishop of Serbia

Transfiguration of the Lord

Transfiguration of the Lord

Archangel Gabriel

Archangel Gabriel

Archangel Michael

Archangel Michael

Sisters’ building

Sisters’ building

Church of St. Peter

Church of St. Peter

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