From 21st to 26th October 2017, students from year 5 of the St Sava’s Sunday School, accompanied by two teachers, visited Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. This was the second educational excursion organised by the Church school.
The trip itinerary was synchronised with what children had learned in school – Serbian language and literature, religious education, national and cultural history of the Serbian people. The goal was for students to see the things they had learned about with their own eyes, as well as to get to know the religious and cultural-historical sights of the Serbian capital.
On the first day, the children had the opportunity to attend Divine Liturgy at St. Michael’s Cathedral Church, to visit the grave side of Vuk Karadžić and Dositej Obradović, visit Kalemegdan fortress, the foundations of the Despot tower, the “Roman Well”, Ružica Church, St. Petka’s Church as well as the Military Museum at Kalemegdan and to take a walk along the Knez Mihailo street and the Terazije city square.
On the second day, the students visited St Sava’s Temple in Vračar. In the temple crypt they appeared as guests of the television programme “Hram” organised by the “Svetosavska Zvonce” magazine for children. On this occasion, our students presented a performance based on the Serbian army’s stay at Corfu during the World War I under the title “Tamo Daleko” prepared with their teacher Mirjana Dabić-Lazić. After that, the students saw how ancient Serbian manuscripts from the Middle Ages looked at the Archaeological Department of the National Library. In the afternoon they visited the church of St. Mark in Tašmajdan park. Together then walked to Skadarlija and onto Republic Square where they took photographs next to the Prince Mihailo Obrenović monument, and later that evening enjoyed the comedy “Laža i paralaža” by Jovan Sterija Popović at the National Theatre.
On Tuesday, October 24, the students visited the White Palace, the home of the Karađorđević royals. The royal court built was by King Alexander I, the Unifier. He would live there along with his family. Then they visited the royal chapel dedicated to St. Andrew the First-Called, whose slava the royals celebrate, then White Palace and its beautiful interior, library and art works by famous painters. Afterwards, the students visited the Church of the Apostles St. Peter and Paul in Topčider Park, the endowment of Prince Miloš and saw the museum at Miloš’s palace. The excursion continued to the monastery of Rakovica where they visited the monastery church and the grave sides of two heads of the Serbian Orthodox Church: Patriarch Dimitri, the first patriarch of the renewed Serbian Patriarchate, and Patriarch Pavle, who was buried there according to his wishes. In the evening, the students visited the Nikola Tesla Museum where they learned a lot about the greatest Serbian scientist, and were especially intrigued by Tesla’s inventions: the induction engine, remote-control guided boat with remote guidance, fluorescent lights, etc.
On the fourth day, the students had the great honor to visit the Serbian Patriarchate, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church. First they visited the editorial staff of the “Svetosavska Zvonce” magazine of our hosts on this occasion, and then the library and museum, and saw important exhibits from Serbian history there. The main hall is the seat of the Holy Architectural Council and the chapel of St. Simeon where they saw the magnificent image of the “Seoba Srba” (Migration of the Serbs) by our famous painter Paja Jovanović. The entourage then visited Princess Ljubica Konak, and then saw the place where once stood the National Library of Serbia that was destroyed in the bombing of Belgrade in 1941. During the day, the students visited the Ethnographic Museum, and then at the Gallery of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts they saw an extremely important exhibition “Serbian Cultural Heritage in Kosovo and Metohija”. Some of the exhibits date from the 12th century and all were created in the province of Kosovo and Metohija, and today are kept in Serbia.
The pupils then set off for Nikola Tesla airport with Belgrade leaving them with a warm impression, photos opportunities and souvenirs, an unforgettable experience and knowledge of the history of their people.
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Proto-Stavrofor Dragan A. Lazić