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DOI :10.26650/B/AA09.2021.007.07   IUP :10.26650/B/AA09.2021.007.07    Full Text (PDF)

Church Architecture and Politics In the Last Century of Ottoman Rule: the Case of the Diocese of Raška and Prizren

Ivana Ženarju Rajovıć

This study purposed primarily to investigate and apprehend the relationships between the architecture, religious revival, and politics of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, specifically in the territories under the Diocese of Raška and Prizren. It aims to attain insight into the characteristic trends and phenomena of selected times and places and obtain comprehensive knowledge of 19th century religious art across the broader span of the Balkan region. In ecclesiastical terms, the Diocese of Raška and Prizren belonged to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but its geopolitical landscape formed part of discrete Ottoman administrative units throughout the 19th century, including Uskudar (Skutari) and the Rumelia Pashaliks and the Vilayet of Kosovo between 1878 and 1912. Nineteenth-century church art observed across the Diocese of Raška and Prizren evolved within the framework of critical political events that occurred in the Ottoman Empire between 1839 and the Tanzimat reform movement. The reforms introduced new regulations and rights for Christians, causing the growth of ecclesiastical lifestyles and facilitating the development of church art in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The 19th century saw extensive renovation and construction activities in churches, which became better equipped under the purview of the Ottoman politics of that time. The architecture evolved through the renovation of modest, single-aisle churches in rural areas, as well as the construction of monumental three-aisled basilicas that contributed to the visual articulation of urban town spaces. Enormous undertakings were typical of the second half of the 19th century and particularly intensified toward the end of the 1800s.



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