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Belgrade » Beograd | 65 After a break of eight centuries, Stefan Nemanja is once again among us, as a monument to this great man now stands proudly on Sava Square, and there’s absolutely no doubt that it will astound you with its monumentality Standing on Belgrade’s Sava Square is a monument to one of Serbia’smost important rulers, the founder of themedieval Serbian state, the great prefect Stefan Nemanja. It rises in the vicinity of the old building of the Central Railway Station, which is set to be converted into amuseumof Serbian history dedicated to the Nemanjić dynasty, at the beginning of the beautiful Nemanjina Street… We were just a tribe until Nemanja came along, but sincehistime,andtothisday,we’vebecomeanation-building people. That’s why he holds a sword, with which he created and constructed, then guarded and protected. Until Nemanja came along, we were a culture of imitations and translations, but since his time we’ve become a culture of creation, nurturing and writing, as symbolisedby theHilandarCharter.He lived inall former Serbian lands, building churches and temples everywhere his path took him. He founded the HilandarMonastery. As the great prefect of Raška, hemightily implemented his every decision. He is spoken of as a person who “illuminated” the Middle Ages, but also subsequent centuries, up until today. The Serbian people recognise him and his sons – Saint Sava and Stefan the First-Crowned – as the people who established the route to Serbia’s future. Moving forward, the Great Prefect will watch over the street that leads from Sava Square to Slavija Square, and which actually bears his name, from a height of 23 metres (the monument weighs 68 tons). Credit for the look of the monument belongs to Russian sculptor Alexandr Rukavishnikov and local architect Petar Arsić. Created in aMoscow studio and then transferred to Belgrade, the monument to the great prefect presents Stefan Nemanja standing atop a pedestal represented by a cracked Byzantine helmet connected to the ground at four points, with the ruler’s sceptre emerging from the helmet. He holds a sword in his right hand and the Hilandar charter in his left. Visitors can enter the interior of the helmet, on which the history of the Nemanjic dynasty is displayed. Magn i f i cent monument to St e fan Neman j a The great prefect watches over Belgrade Thepedestal includes reliefs depictingNemanja’s life andSerbianhistory. Embossedon the front side, just belowthemonumental figure, is theStudenicaCross, oneof themost recognisable symbols of StudenicaMonastery, Nemanja’s endowment.The exterior of the pedestal also shows the monasteries of Studenica and Hilandar, two of his most important endowments. The remaining reliefs were created on the basis of the examples of Serbian frescoes, one of which presents the Nemanjić family tree, based on a fresco from Visoki Dečani Monastery. The renovated Sava Square has gained a completely new look and become a large pedestrian zone, with road traffic shifted entirely to its periphery. A large plateau has been formed in front of the building of the former Central Railway Station, while there are also areas of greenery with 250 trees and many benches for visitors to rest. Following Slavija Square, Flower Square and Republic Square, Belgrade has now gained another “must see” attraction on Sava Square… Stefan Nemanja će ubuduće posmatrati ulicu koja od Savskog trga vodi do Slavije, a nosi upravo njegovo ime Stefan Nemanja will watch over the street that leads fromSava Square to Slavija Square, and which actually bears his name