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Disastrous road leads to Kumanica monastery: It's easier to reach from Montenegro than from Serbia

Believers cannot easily reach one of the greatest shrines in our country

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Kumanica Monastery; Photo RINA

An old, damaged dirt road is the only connection villagers from Bare on Mt. Pester have with the rest of the world. First of all, with the center of the municipality, but also with one of the biggest shrines in this area, the Kumanica monastery, which is located on the very the border with Montenegro.

The head of this shrine, Nikolaj Bosnic, personally wrote to President Aleksandar Vucic, stressing how important it is for this monastery to finally get a proper access road. Because one does not exist currently, more believers are visiting there from Montenegro than from Serbia.

"Between the village of Bare and the Kumanica monastery, there are more than nine Serbian villages whose inhabitants depend on the Bare-Kumanica road which is in very bad condition, and is the only connection between Pester and Montenegro and the only connection between the inhabitants of these villages," Nikolaj wrote in his letter.

Although works have started from Bare toward Kumanica, only 4.5 kilometers will be done, and that will not solve the problem faced by people in this area, the abbot stated and added:

"There are still about nine kilometers that would connect with the main Prijepolje-Bijelo Polje road. If this was done, the Kumanica monastery, which is located on the last meters of the territory of the Republic of Serbia, would finally be connected with the rest of the country."

The company Novi Pazar Put is currently performing works from Bare towards a school in the village of Vrbnica, in the length of 4.5 kilometers. The director of this company, Aleksandar Grbovic, says that works on this section will be finished by mid- July and that the paving has already started.

"We have not yet received an order from Putevi Srbije (public company), if the machines arrive, we are here and we are ready to connect the Kumanica monastery with the Pester villages very quickly," says Grbovic.

At the moment, on the order of the Putevi Srbije director Zoran Drobnjak, surveying is being done for another ten kilometers of road towards the Kumanica monastery. The survey's resuts will be submitted to the company in ten days, after which money and a work order should be given.

Kumanica's history

This Serbian Orthodox medieval monastery gathers members of all religions, who believe in the miraculous properties of the relics of Saint Grigorije of Kumanica. Kumanica is under state protection and is characterized as a cultural monument of exceptional importance.

It is not known for certain whether the name of the monastery originates from the Kumancici or the Kumanci family, who are known to have lived in those areas, or from the monks who, according to one version, escaped from the town of Kumanovo.

It is also not known whose endowment this monastery is.

The relics of Saint Grigorije of Kumanica, which are believed to have healing powers, are also kept in this shrine; stories of miraculous healings can often be heard in the monastery's yard.

There is one preserved written record, which states that the benefactor was a former bishop and educator among Serbs. Believers of all religions from the area, but also from other parts of Serbia and Montenegro, are happy to visit this shrine.

The last reconstruction of the monastery dedicated to the Assembly of the Holy Archangel Gabriel was carried out in 2000.


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