Home monuments Crkva Svete Nedjelje

Crkva Svete Nedjelje

by Discover Montenegro

The Cathedral of Saint Nedjelja (Neđelje, Nedelje) is a Orthodox church of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral in Jošica – Kamenari, municipality of Herceg Novi, Boka Kotorska, Montenegro. It belongs to the Archbishopric Protopresbytery of Herzegnov and is located near the ferry pier on the LepetaniKamenari road.


Old church

Lazar Tomanović wrote that the new church, with one cube, was built over the old one of the same name, where services were held until the new one was finished, and only then was it demolished. When they wanted to demolish the old church, the Ercegović tribe (then already converted to Catholicism) resisted, citing their rights to that church. They stated that as a price for that church, they gave the Turks a young man as a slave. Another tribe, Orthodox, gave the Turks a girl for the same purpose. That’s why the Orthodox gave them 500 francs as compensation. The old church was low and narrow, but long, and half its height above the ground. The church’s document in Turkish was located in the Zadar Orthodox consistory, so it also disappeared. The church is located on top of a hill, surrounded by the sea, except on the western side. There is also a cemetery near the church where the Tomanovićs are buried (eg Lazar Tomanović’s sister Sofija.). It is the parish church of the Jošić municipality, where the Orthodox from Lepetan also belong, which are on the right side of the Veriga strait.

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The old church was built in the 17th century, during the Turkish rule in these areas. Since Russians respect Holy Sunday under the Greek name Kiriakia, and this church is named after a saint whose name in Serbian resembles one of the days, Sunday, it was mistakenly written on many church items that arrived from Russia that it was for the church of Voskresenija Hristova in Jošica. (Russians say Voskresen’e for Sunday). Even the church seal had a depiction of Christ’s resurrection. The custom was, and still is today, that the temple holiday is celebrated on the first Sunday after Ilindan. And Pavle Rovinski writes that Sunday is used in the sense of a non-working day, every week, but that it also has the meaning of a special holiday to which churches are dedicated, as well as other saints and holidays. And so he cites the example in Boka, that the Orthodox municipality of Lepetane and Jošice has a parish church of Holy Sunday, and that it is celebrated on the first Sunday after Ilindan. He mentions an identical practice in Njeguši, where the service is held once a year in a small and old church, separated from the village, on the first Sunday after the Epiphany.

Jošić priest Andrija I. Balić wrote about the church in more detail than Tomanović. He wrote in the Schematism of the Eparchy of Boko Kotor-Dubrovnik for the year 1876 that the old church was built during the time of the Turks by three families immigrated from Herzegovina: Radojevići (Balići), Cicovići and Ercegovići (who later, under marriage ties, converted to the Roman Catholic faith). Since they built it without the permission of the Turkish authorities, they had to give two young men as slaves. For this, in 1675, they received an emperor’s letter signed in golden letters. Bishop Rajačić takes the letter in 1832 to be translated. The converted Ercegovići later worked with the Venetian authorities to install a Catholic altar in the church, which was there until 1812. The Turkish document shows that Captain Osman imprisoned Tom and Mihail Radojević in the dungeon in Bijela, because they built a church without a permit. After paying the fine, they received a written confirmation for it. It mentions that these two built the church on their own land, and the document does not mention Cicovići and Ercegovići.

From another, undated document, it can be seen that the villagers did not have money to pay the fine to the Turks, so the Radojevićs gave them a girl as a slave, and the Ercegovići a young man. The Ercegovićs sold the church land to Abbot Madžarević, and the Radojevićs did not sell anything, neither did the Balićs. There is an assumption that they moved from Mojdež, and there is also a church of Saint Sunday, from the beginning of the 16th century, so, possibly, they brought the old cult of Saint Sunday to their new place of living. The oldest preserved document of the church is about the Catholic altar, erected during the rule of the Venetians. It is a petition dated December 21, 1810, from the parish priest of Jošić, Jovan Vukošić, to Archimandrite Zelić in Kotor. Zelić’s letter (No. 128) from 1812, is a response to the question of the parish priest of Jošić, what should he do when the Catholic priest comes to serve in the church, on the Orthodox Ilindan, which was celebrated as a baptismal feast by the Ercegovići, even though they converted to Catholicism much earlier . He told him to let him go, and that the problem of two-altar (Orthodox-Catholic) churches would be solved in time.

Although the Catholic altar was removed in 1812, the Ercegovići, the only Catholics in the village, continued to bury their dead near the church. They asked that a special chapel be built for the removed altar. In 1840, the authorities rejected the bishop’s request to build a Catholic chapel for Jošica, due to the small number of Catholics in that place (6 Catholic families with 25 people, and 32 Orthodox families). That question came to life again when the Orthodox decided to build a new, bigger church. The Catholics demanded that the church not be demolished, or if it is demolished, that they be compensated, which was done. Orthodox and Catholics settled in Kotor on January 11, 1858. Catholics were paid 220 forints and Orthodox enjoyed full rights to the church. The settlement was also confirmed by the decree of the Governor in Zadar dated January 25 of the same year under no. 1257. The problem was solved to mutual satisfaction, and the Catholics continued to come to litias on the day of the celebration of Holy Sunday, together with the Orthodox. The Church of St. Trifun in Morinje was also the subject of a dispute between Orthodox and Catholics, but today it is Catholic.

Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski mentions this church in two places in his works. He wrote about the old church that it was built in the Byzantine style, on a cross, and that it had sunk halfway into the ground. He regretted that it was planned to be demolished, due to the construction of a new one, with the observation that there is no one there to take care of the antiquities. The church had vaults over the choir stalls and was in the shape of a cross, according to the testimony of Toma Katurić from Jošice, who went to the old church as a child. The church roof was so low that you could sit on it from the side.

New church

The new church, next to the old one, was built from 1857 to 1867. Since the altar is in the same place, only raised, there was no need for the consecration of the new church, only the rite of restoration of the temple. The church was consecrated by Jošić priest Andrija Ilin Balić on Christmas Day 1867. The new church is 20 meters long and 7.5 meters wide. With the dome (with 6 windows) it is about 16 meters high. The church was built by Drago, Simo and Jovi Đurić from Igalo. The biggest contributor to the construction of the new church was Ilija Markov Đuranović, who was born in Đurići in 1785. In 1890 and 1891, the church iconostasis was restored. In addition to numerous contributors, Filip Tomanović presented the church with a silver lamp. Catholics from Jošić, as well as Orthodox, contributed to the Catholic chapel, which was built in 1894. Lazar Tomanović was buried in the church gate, but the grave is old and the inscription has disappeared over time, destroyed by the ravages of time. The staircase near the altar part of the church leads to a small cemetery where, among others, some other Tomanovićs are buried.

The iconostasis was made by master L. Pinjoli from Perast. Icons of apostles and evangelists as well as icons of the throne of St. John the Baptist and St. Sunday, and perhaps the icon of the Last Supper, was painted by painter Špiro Đuranović from Đurić, who painted icons on the iconostases of many churches in Boka. In 1829, there were bells on the horsetail, next to the church. The Austrian authorities took them away during the war, so new bells were bought after the war. In 1930, the parishioners established a committee for the town of the great belfry. The old belfry was demolished in 1936, and the new one was completed by June 1939. It is 19.5 meters high, and 21.5 meters with the cross. It was built from Korčula stone, as was the new church of the Savina monastery. The newer, large bell tower was consecrated on the day of the temple’s glory on July 24 (August 6) 1939.

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