New Gračanica Monastery

Coordinates: 42°22′27″N 88°00′14″W / 42.374028°N 88.003972°W / 42.374028; -88.003972 New Gračanica Monastery (Serbian: Манастир Нoва Грачаница/Manastir Nova Gračanica) is a Serbian Orthodox monastery complex is located in Third Lake, Illinois, United States, a suburb of Chicago. The complex houses a scaled-up replica of the Gračanica monastery in Kosovo. It is a part of the Diocese of New Gracanica - Midwestern America. It has 300 acres of land, making it the 6th largest monastery among the 80 American Orthodox Christian monasteries.[1]

HistoryEdit

Built on land that the Most Holy Mother of God Serbian Association purchased in 1977, New Gračanica Church and the main building on its grounds dedicated to the feast of the "Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God" were completed and consecrated in 1984.[2]

ArchitectureEdit

It is an architectural replica of the original Gračanica in Kosovo that is found on UNESCO's World Heritage List, but built in a scale eighteen percent larger than the original.[2] New Gračanica has detail such as hand-carved wooden entrance doors depicting twenty-three monasteries and churches from various regions of Serbia.[2]

The FrescoesEdit

In 1995 famed Polish-American artist Fr. Theodore Jurewicz was commissioned to paint the entire church. Done over the span of three years, Fr. Theodore is held to be one of the most celebrated icon painters in North America today.[2] Painted in a Byzantine style it features richly colored designs and religious scenes covering the walls, vaults, pillars and dome of the church. The frescoes painted by Fr. Theodore like other contemporary icon painters are done in acrylics on dry plaster.

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