Monastery Ostrog in Montenegro. The current Orthodox monastery
Ostrog Monastery in Montenegro was created in the middle of the 17th century. Its founder is considered to be St. Basil of Ostrog. To this day his imperishable relics are kept in the monastery. People from all over the world come to Ostrog Monastery in Montenegro to ask for healing from various diseases. By the way, in the monastery books there are hundreds of records of miracles and healings. Here you can also find an image - an icon of Vasily Ostrogsky, executed on a rock, and frescoes from the 17th century.
Why visit Ostrog?
In addition to religious motives, you can find a number of other reasons why you should definitely visit it, despite the fact that this monastery is located at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level in the mountains. Here is an amazing energy, but the place is at the same time very picturesque and simple. In addition, it is not often possible to find a building that is completely in the mountain (except for the facade).
The origin of the name of the monastery
Ostrog Monastery in Montenegro got its name in honor of the mountain range on which it was built. The word "jail" by origin is Old Slavonic. It meant "fortified place, fortification."
The name can be found in various places in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. In Montenegro, for example, on the Budva field there is the Ostrog hill, in Bosnia and Herzegovina - on the Popov field - you will find a hill with the same name as in the village Zaostrog, located in Croatia.
Where is Ostrog?
For those who need this information, let's say a few words first about where Montenegro is on the map. This country is located in southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula (its southeast coast). Montenegro appeared on the map quite recently - in 2006, when it gained independence. Until that time, it was part of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and even earlier - of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The famous monastery we are interested in is located in the area between Nikshich and Danilovgrad.
How to get there
Even from a distance you can see it on the right side of the road when driving from Danilovgrad - you need to drive about 15-20 km from this city.In order to get directly to the monastery, you need to turn right, follow the big sign, and then listen to your own intuition. It will be necessary to rely on it a bit, since the rural road forks almost immediately, so it is urgent to decide where to go. The presence of kiosks selling souvenirs, food and various trivia for tourists will help you determine the right direction. Another option is to follow the signs to cafes and restaurants. All this is only on the road to Ostrog - you can not go wrong!
The road itself is rather narrow. It should follow certain rules. The one who is traveling closer to the edge of the abyss, that is, on the outside of the road, is passed. If you are moving from the inside, you will need to retreat back to the nearest "pocket" for the siding.
In addition, if you should meet the bus, and you are not the driver of another, in any case, you must give way. Be careful, but do not be nervous, because, according to legend, this path is guarded by Vasily Ostrog, so there have been no accidents so far.
The monastery complex consists of two monasteries: the Upper (Upper) and Donne (Lower). They were erected at different times. Upper consists of two temples. The most ancient is founded in honor of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos. Apparently, it was erected before Vasily Ostrozhsky came here.
The central temple is dedicated to an important event - the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. 1665 is considered to be the founding date of the High Monastery. And after 6 years (12.05.1671), St. Basil withdrew to God here. This day is still revered. May 12 every year people from all over the world flock to the Serbian monastery. They come here to worship the relics of this saint and honor his memory.
Who is Vasily Ostrozhsky?
Vasily (Stoyan Jovanovic - his real name) was born in a devout family in 1610. From an early age he began the path of service to God and passed it to the end, winning sincere respect and great authority among his contemporaries with his holy asceticism and righteous life.
The most difficult time in the history of Montenegro was the flourishing of its religious activities. The Turks came to the Balkans, as a result of which many Orthodox were subjected to violent "rectification" and cruel persecution.Vasily Ostrozhsky, being a priest, did everything to support his fellow tribesmen not only with prayer, but also with deed. He participated in the construction of new churches, and also helped the needy and the sick. The crown of his righteous life was the monastery of Ostrog in Montenegro - a symbol of unshakable faith of Basil.
The lower monastery was built in 1820 by Iosif Pavichevich (archimandrite). It is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Once upon a time, the Church of St. George was nearby. It was built, according to legend, in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. This church was destroyed several times during the period of Turkish rule, but each time it was restored. According to the archaeological excavations carried out on this site, the last time the destruction occurred in 1895, and the church was not restored after that. The remains of the walls can now be found near the old monastery cemetery.
Church of St. Stanke
The Church of St. Stanke is the newest temple of the complex. It was erected at the end of 2004 on a hill located above the Lower Monastery. Here you will see the imperishable hands of the Machine. As a shepherd from a village near Danilovgrad, he refused to accept Islam. During this September 15, 1712 Stank was hacked to death by the Turks. His hands to this day have been preserved intact.In this temple, 27 people also rest, in October 1943, defending Ostrog.
You will find old guest rooms not far from the Lower Monastery, in a place called Brina. Here until 1977 there was a monastic school. The building was consecrated again in 1994, after which the school resumed its activities. You can also visit it if you decide to go to the monastery of Ostrog.
How to get to the Upper Monastery?
In the 20s of the last century, the shrine acquired its modern look. At this time, it was restored after the strong fire that destroyed the main part of the complex. Most pilgrims who come to Ostrog, strive to get immediately to the Upper Monastery. A 5-kilometer road leads to it, which winds through the trees. You can get here, however, by a shorter walking path. During the tourist season, visitors climb it almost a continuous stream. Choosing this option, you should take care of the supply of water and time for periodic rest. This is necessary so that when you get to the temples of the Upper Monastery, you are full of energy.
Inside the cave
Once inside the cave with the relics of St. Basil in the upper part of the monastery, the believers quickly whisper requests to this saint.They also leave their notes with wishes. Unfortunately, there is not enough time to look around: there are so many people who want to get here that the line is constantly pressing - you have to do everything very quickly. So if you want to spend a lot of time here and do not constantly encounter other believers, we recommend going to Ostrog between the end of September and June - the time when the holiday season begins.
Ostrog Monastery is a place where you will find a healing spring. The water from it is bottled and distributed free to anyone. To get it, you should contact the monastery shop. Consider that one bottle is given into the hands of one person. If you are not given water, you can remind about it. An image of the Upper Monastery and the cross is impressed on the bottle, and it will be a wonderful souvenir.
Miracles at the monastery
Local monks say that over the centuries many miracles have happened here. For example, in an amazing way they always managed to hide the relics of St. Basil, and no one managed to destroy them. It is also said that during the days of the Second World War, the monastery was subjected to shelling, during which the shell flew inside the monastery.However, it did not explode for some unknown reason, but split into 2 parts. The broken shell still lies in confirmation of a miracle in one of the sacristy.
Value of the monastery
The Orthodox monastery of Ostrog plays a very important role in the establishment of faith. Many people believe that it was thanks to this monastery that the Orthodoxy was preserved in the country to this day. This monastery is now operational. Today 12 monks live here. Ostrog Monastery annually receives tens of thousands of visitors. Of course, here you should go and touch the rich spiritual life of this region.
Impressed by the visit to the monastery, many decide to go to other functioning monasteries in Montenegro, such as Moraca, Daybabe, Tsetinsky. Orthodoxy, like many centuries ago, is today one of the most important foundations of the life of this country.