Latin Church – Gornji Matejevac, Serbia - Atlas Obscura

Latin Church

Gornji Matejevac, Serbia

An 11th-century Byzantine church with medieval Serbian history and spectacular views. 


On Metoh Hill, above the city of Niš and in the village of Gornji Matejevac, is an 11th-century Orthodox church dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Known as the Latin Church, the building got the name from Dubrovnik merchants (called “Latins” by the locals for their Catholic faith) who used it for religious ceremonies in the 16th century. It is one of the few buildings from the pre-Nemanjić dynasty epoch (Medieval Serbia), when the region was still part of the Byzantine Empire.

The church was built from stone and bricks and the facade decorated with stone ornaments. There are no traces of interior decorations and frescoes remaining, but it is known it was painted in 1870, including with a fescoe depicting a life-size figure of famous Serbian medieval knight Miloš Obilić. The architectural style of the church resembles the old Byzantine churches: stone, with brick arcades and one ancient Roman tombstone embedded in the wall. The churchyard is a necropolis of the prominent Dubrovnik merchants and diplomats from that time. During the Ottoman conquest, it was the only remaining church in the area, as all others were converted into mosques. 

The church offers spectacular views on the surrounding area, it overlooks the nearby villages, forests and mountains. 

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June 10, 2020

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