More about monastery

Monastery Miljkovo (formerly called Bukovica) is situated in the area of village Gložane, almost on the very right bank of the river Velika Morava, between two hills: Oglavak and Gradac. It is not known who built it and when. Monastery is named after a Glozane's merchant Miljko Tomich, who built a new church on the old foundation in the time of Kochina borderland (1787).

Because the first indisputable written record where the monastery has been mentioned as " the Entrance into the Temple of the Most-Holy Mother of God" is the Turkish record dated from 1467, we think it was built in the time of medieval Serbia. It was probably in the time of despot Stefan Lazarevich, and it is likely it was skete of magnificent monastery Manasia, the endowment of despot Stefan.

The church was probably built in 1400 ( ± 20 years), but it would be significant to find out whether the narthex was built at the same time, or it was built later. The fact that monastery had a wooden narthex at the beginning of XIX century doesn't have to mean it didn't have the brick narthex in the earlier period, which has been probably destroyed throughout the time. As it was already a monastery in 1467, it means it had to had a narthex, although that narthex could have been made of wood.

Church books were reproduced at the monastery, which was part of Resava's transcription-reproducing school in 1420's. Turks destroyed the monastery several times since it connected rebels on both sides of river Morava, but it was rebuilt after each demolition.

In the tumultuous events that took place after the rule of Kocina borderland, monastery was burned down by Turks. Afterwards, just before the beginning of the First Serbian Uprising, to the monastery arrives priest Miljko Ristich, who was born in the village of Virina, near Cuprija. He was tonsured there and got name Melentije. Hieromonk Melentije engaged himself with restoration of monastery and monastic residence. He took an active part in the very beginning of the First Serbian Uprising against the Turks, had connections with Karadjordje (he was a leader of the uprising and a relative of his late wife) and other important people. Melentije knew how to take advantage of acquaintance with Karadjordje in favor of additional and larger reconstruction of their monastery. This can be confirmed by the inscription on the monastery's bell "cast in the time of the government of Georgije Petrovich – the Supreme Leader of Serbian people ". Later, in 1830, in the time of prince Milos, the bell was taken away to Kragujevac and was the first one that tolled in liberated Serbia!... Afterward the bell was taken to Ravanica monastery, and the other bell was donated to Miljkovo.

Between the 18th and 19th century, there was a school for local children at the monastery. In 1925 the first Russians came to Miljkovo monastery, and that was the beginning of the spiritual blossoming of this small monastery. In 1926, Hieromonk Ambrose (Kurganov) was placed in charge of the monastery. The strict life of Father Ambrose, his asceticism and a proper monastery rule attracted to this monastery many Russians as well as Serbs. Some frequent visitors of that time included Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev and Galicia, Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, as well as intellectuals of that time. The materially poor but spiritually rich lives of the monks in this monastery attracted John Maximovitch, who received his monastic tonsure here and later became an archbishop. Elder Ambrose died in 1933 as a schema-archimandrite, and he was buried behind the altar of the monastery's church.

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