Since its foundation, the monastery Krka (1345) has been a spiritual and cultural centre of Dalmatian Diocese. Beside monasteries Krupa (1317) and Dragović (1395), monastery Krka is a pillar of Orthodoxy as well as guardian of faith and culture of Dalmatian Serbs.
The monastery was founded by Jelena Šubić, a daughter of St. Stephen of Dečani and sister of tsar Dušan (1331-1355). Early Christian catacombs situated in the crypt beneath the altar of the monastery church, bear witness to the fact that monastery Krka was built on the place where St. Apostle Paul and his disciples preached Christianity in Dalmatia.
Since its founding, the monastery Krka has led an existence of Orthodox Serbs of North Dalmatia: when the people suffered, the monastery also went through suffering, when the people experienced spiritual resurrection; the monastery went through spiritual revival also. Regardless of its numerous historical tribulations, steadiness of monastery Krka shows that, by God’s grace, this sanctuary is founded on St. Apostle’s preaching and Christian martyrdom. Furthermore, Krka’s steadiness has been shown and proved by its patron St. Archangel Michael. Being a Leader of the armies of heaven, Archangel Michael guarded and still guards this sanctuary, so the monastery, although situated in the canyon of the river Krka, represents a city set on a hill and the light of the world. In 1615, in accordance with ancient patristic Tradition and St. Sava’s teaching, Theological Seminary was established in the monastery. Many future bishops, priests, monks, as well as people employed in culture and education, significant not only for the history of this sanctuary, and life of Serbian people in Dalmatia, but for the life of the whole Serbian Orthodox Church, gained their degrees in this school.
Monastery’s rich history is also revealed by its treasury. It consists of more than 2,000 exhibits such as: ancient Orthodox icons, liturgical books in manuscript dating from XV and XVI century, liturgical vessels and vestments. Among them is well-known epitrachelion of St. Sava. Furthermore, in the monastery crypt there is a chapel dedicated to St. Sava, the first enlightener and Serbian Teacher of Orthodoxy. Besides, in the refectory, a chapel dedicated to St. Apostle Paul, enlightener of Dalmatia, is being built.
We hope that through words as well as through photos, we will somehow preserve the significance and beauty of monastery Krka and make it closer not only to Orthodox Serbs, but to people from all other parts of the world, who during last few years, visit this sanctuary.
We express our gratitude to our Lord and All-Saints of His that we managed to publish this Monograph in these hard times. Also, we are grateful to all those who in any way helped us in publishing this book, whose purpose is to reveal the hidden, spiritual beatitude of this sanctuary, and make it closer to all people, and in that way carry on the mission of monastery Krka in our days.
Bishop of Dalmatia