The Tuman Monastery (Serbian: Манастир Туман) is a 14th-century Serbian Orthodox monastery in eastern Serbia, in the municipality of Golubac. It belongs to the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Braničevo. It is also referred to as the Tumane Monastery.
The church is dedicated to the Saint Archangel Gabriel. As of 2018, the monastery has six monks and one nun, which makes it the largest one in the Braničevo District. Because of the several historical healers who dwelled in the monastery, Tuman has been called "Ostrog of the Đerdap".
The monastery is situated in the valley of the river of Tumanska reka, 12 km (7.5 mi) south-east of Golubac. It is located in the village of Snegotin, though it is outside of the village itself, in the forested, secluded depression area of the north-west section of the Severni Kučaj mountain. South of the monastery rises the 591-metre-high (1,939 ft) peak of Crni Vrh Tumanski ("Black Peak of Tuman"). The forests which encircle the monastery are estimated to be over a century old as of 2018.
Historically, the building of the monastery began in the second half of the 14th century and was finished just before the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. It was endowed by one of the vojvodas of the Serbian Prince Lazar, but it is not known exactly by which one.
Local legends name the knight Miloš Obilić, who had a court at the neighboring village of Dvorište, as the ktitor of the monastery. While Obilić was hunting in the forest, he accidentally wounded Zosimus the Sinait, who lived in the neighboring cave. Obilić took Zosimus to the healer who lived at his court, but Zosimus told him to leave him to die. At the place where he died, as an act of repentance, Obilić started building the church. When he got to the roof, he received a letter from Prince Lazar who summoned him for the Battle of Kosovo. Since Obilić died in the battle, local population finished the church, around which the monastery developed.
The word tuman, today perished from the Serbian language, means "fog" or "mist", as it still does in the East Slavic languages, while in modern Polish language it means "cloud". As the word got obscured in time, folk etymology explained the name with two sayings from the myth of the monastery's origin. First Zosimus Sinait, when said to Obilić to leave him to die (Tu mani, i pusti me da umrem; "Leave it, and let me die") and then Prince Lazar in his letter (Tu mani zidanje manastira, skupljaj svoje Stižane i pohitaj na Kosovo da branimo zemlju; "Leave the building of the monastery, gather your Stižani and hurry to Kosovo to defend the country").
The monastery was mentioned in the Ottoman census of 1572-1573. It was also mentioned, so as the village of Tuman which doesn't exist today, during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murad III (1574–1595). In the second half of the 16th century, the Tuman Apocryphal Code was written in the monastery.
The monastery was burned by the Ottomans during the 1788 Koča's frontier rebellion but was restored in 1797, only to be damaged again in both the First (1804-13) and the Second Serbian Uprising (1815). In 1879 it was damaged in an earthquake and was repaired in 1883.
The old church was demolished in 1910 as the new one was to be built. However, the Balkan Wars and the World War I postponed the works, so the new church was finished and consecrated in 1924. In 1934 a group of 30 Russian monks from the Miljkovo Monastery moved in, bringing an old Russian icon, The Theotokos of Kursk, which previously survived two fires, including one in the monastery near Kursk, in Russia, after the October Revolution. That same year, the remains of the Saint Zosimus were discovered. As the number of monks dwindled, Tuman became a female monastery in 1966. In 1991 the stone iconostasis was built and the frescoes were painted on the walls. Due to the declining number of nuns, the monastery is male again from 2014, when three monks arrived. A massive renovation ensued from 2016 to 2018, including reconstruction of the church itself, old and new konak, churchyard, poustinia of the Saint Zosimus (800 m (2,600 ft) south of the monastery) and a diner. Across the church, on the left bank of the Tumanska reka is an reception-inn (gostoprimnica), actually an adapted watermill which was closed in the 1960s. Next to the old one, the new watermill, with the traditional millstone was built, and is in use, mostly for grinding corn. Also, the mini-zoo was formed.
The monastery has its own economy, mostly concentrated on the animal husbandry, like cattle, sheep, goats, poultry and donkeys but also some wild animals, in and out of the mini-zoo: emus, ostriches, swans, geese, ducks, ruddy shelducks, llamas, donkeys, ponies, black-headed sheep, pygmy goats, turtles, hares, hedgehogs and badgers. Some animals were donated by the Belgrade and Jagodina Zoo. There is also a garden, hoop house, trout fish pond and 150 beehives.
Saint Zosimus of Tuman
Almost immediately after the monastery was completed, a group of the Sinait monks (meaning they originated from the Mount Sinai) settled in the caves in the vicinity. A large number of Sinait monks from the Mount Athos migrated to Serbia in the mid-14th century, fleeing the Ottoman invasion. They all settled in the caves throughout Serbia, due to their hermit lifestyle. Zosimus Sinait, later named The Venerable Zosimus of Tuman, headed the group which settled around the monastery. He was known for the extreme fasting and praying in his poustinia-rocky cave until his death. Zosimus' remains are today the central relic of the monastery. He is also known as Sinait the Miracle Worker and his day is observed on 21 August.
Saint Jacob the New of Tuman
Radoje Arsović (1893–1946) was a highly educated diplomat, with a Ph.D. in philosophy received at the Sorbonne, and Ph.D. in law, from the University of Montpellier. He left the state service and became a monk Jakov in the Žiča monastery. A missionary and a preacher, he was tortured by the Communist authorities after World War II and died in the village of Rabrovo, not far from the Tuman Monastery in which he was buried, according to his own wish. In October 2014 it was discovered that his remains were free of decay after almost 70 years. In May 2017 he was canonized, and his day is observed also on 21 August.
Saint Elder Tadej of Vitovnica
- Dragoljub Stevanović (23 September 2018). "Сва чуда Острога на Дунаву" [All miracles of Ostrog on the Danube]. Politika-Magazin, No. 1095 (in Serbian). pp. 19–21.
- Slavica Stuparušić (23 July 2017), "Svetinja u kome caruje gostoljublje", Politika-Magazin No. 1034 (in Serbian), pp. 25–27
- Turističko područje Beograda. Geokarta. 2007. ISBN 86-459-0099-8.
- Official site of the Tuman Monastery