|Native name |
Serbian: Стари Рас
Overview of the Stari Ras
|Location||Near Novi Pazar, Serbia|
|Elevation||755 m (2,477.0 ft)|
|Official name: Stari Ras and Sopoćani|
|Designated||1979 (3rd session)|
|Region||Europe and North America|
|Official name: СТАРИ РАС СА СОПОЋАНИМА|
|Type||Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance|
|Reference no.||ПКИЦ 24|
Ras (Serbian Cyrillic: Рас; Latin: Arsa), known in modern Serbian historiography as Stari Ras (Serbian Cyrillic: Стари Рас, meaning Old Ras), is a medieval fortress located in the vicinity of former market-place of Staro Trgovište, some 11 km west of modern day city of Novi Pazar in Serbia.
Old Ras was one of the first capitals of the medieval Serbian state of Raška, and the most important one for quite a long period of time. Located in today's region of Raška, the city was positioned in the center of the early medieval state. It was founded before 9th century and was deserted sometime in the 13th century. Its favorable position in the area known as Old Serbia, along the Raška gorge, on the crossroads and trading routes between neighbouring regions of Zeta and Bosnia in the west and Kosovo and Metohija in the south added to its importance as a city.
Today the fortress of Arsa lies in mostly unenclosed and unprotected ruins. However, there are plans for future reconstruction of the site. In the close vicinity of Arsa there is impressive group of medieval monuments consisting of fortresses, old market-places, churches and monasteries. Serbian medieval Monastery of Sopoćani near Arsa is a reminder of the contacts between Western world and the Byzantine world. The site of Stari Ras, in combination with the nearby Monastery of Sopoćani, is already a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Stari Ras monastery (12th century) is being reconstructed and it too may be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List with the site. Stari Ras and Sopoćani World Heritage site is not far from another UNESCO World Heritage Site of Serbia, the magnificent medieval monastery and churches of Studenica. The 6th century Church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul is one of the oldest early medieval churches in Serbia.
Archeological findings of fortified structures and early churches from the area of Stari Ras, dated from 4th to 6th century, correspond to testimony of Byzantine historian Procopius who wrote that Roman castellum of Arsa in the province of Dardania was refortified during the reign of emperor Justinian I (527-565).
With the arrival of Slavs in the 6th century and the final collapse of Byzantine rule in Dardania at the beginning of the 7th century, the fort of Arsa was destroyed. To newly settled Serbs, old Arsa was known as Ras. It soon became a peripheral place for Serbia. In the early stages of Serbian statehood it was the easternmost town, bordering the First Bulgarian Empire, also annexed by the Bulgars in 924–927.
A bishopric for inner Serbia was founded probably in Ras in the time of major ecclesiastical events that took place around the Council of Constantinople in 869-870 and the Council of Constantinople in 879–880.
After the victories of emperor Basil II and the restoration of Byzantine power in Southeastern Europe (1018), Ras became the political and church center of Byzantine Serbia. In the imperial charters of Basil II from 1019 and 1020, rights and jurisdictions of the autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid were established. One of the bishoprics in its jurisdiction was that of Ras, with the seat at the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. During the Hungarian-Byzantine War (1127–29), the Serbs fought on the Hungarian side, re-conquering Ras which had been under Byzantine rule. In the next war (1149–51) the Byzantines seized Ras again.
During the 14th century there was an important market-place below the Stari Ras, Trgovište, that started to develop. By the mid-15th century, in the time of the final Ottoman conquest of the region, another market-place was developing some 11 km to the east. The older place was known as Staro Trgovište ("old market-place", in Turkish: Eski Pazar) and younger as Novo Trgovište ("new market-place", Turkish: Yeni Pazar). The latter developed into the modern city of Novi Pazar.
- The oldest early medieval church-building in Serbia, the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, was founded sometime during the 9th century on foundations of an Early Christian church. According to tradition, Serbian Prince Petar Gojniković (r. 892-917) was entombed in this church.
- Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance
- Tourism in Serbia
- Nemanjić dynasty
- Spatial Cultural-Historical Units of Great Importance
- Monuments of Culture in Serbia: СТАРИ РАС СА СОПОЋАНИМА (SANU) (in Serbian and English)
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- UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Official site of monastery Đurđevi stupovi in Stari Ras
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- "О ПРОУЧАВАЊУ И ПУБЛИКОВАЊУ УТВРЂЕНИХ МЕСТА У СРБИЈИ ИЗ VII-X СТОЛЕЋА".
- Damjanović, L., Holclajtner-Antunović, I., Mioč, U.B., Bikić, V., Milovanović, D. and Evans, I.R., 2011. Archaeometric study of medieval pottery excavated at Stari (Old) Ras, Serbia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(4), pp. 818–828. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2010.11.004
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