R I TAM GRADA / RHYTHM OF THE CI TY 58 | HramSvetog Save » Temple of Saint Sava with both the soul and the rational mind, which are taken aback by the harmony of enormous dimensions. Technical statistics remain in the shadowof that impression, so the mosaic elements’ total weight of 320 tonnes and total number of 50million tiles are rendered irrelevantwhenwitnessing the temple’s impressivebeauty. Even the artists themselves, led by Russian iconographer Nikolay Mukhin, can hardly recall the difficulty they had when assembling the tiles. They weren’t able tomake amistake like “ordinary” painters, because their work will be evaluated for centuries by the public, both earthly andheavenly, expressed in the sacral vocabulary. Connoisseurs of iconography will perhaps be confused by the fact that Christ the Almighty is not portrayed in the main dome, at a height of 40 metres, but rather the scene of the Ascension of the Lord. However, that is in precise accordance with the early Christian tradition.Moreover, this scene symbolises the unifying of heaven and earth and points to the two natures of God: the God ofman and theman of God, saidMukhin explaining the change in approach. Mukhin also took into consideration the fact that Ascension represents the glory of Serbia, highlighting that this is not about the church’s decoration, but rather its transfiguration. Themosaic was created atMukhin’s studio inMoscow and then assembled in Belgrade piece by piece. Six teams comprising a total of 300 artists endured anxiousness for the final result of their many years of work until the very end. Only when the last stone tile was put in place were they able to breathe a sigh of relief. Their feeling can be compared to the tension felt when installing the central dome, which weighs 4,000 tonnes. That work, undertaken at the end of the last century, required the engaging of 16 hydraulic cranes. And that was just one of the phases of this project that was first conceived in 1895. It was back than that the Society for the Construction of the Temple of Saint Sava on Vračar was founded, with the aimof raising the church on the site where it was believed that themortal remains of the first Serbian archbishop and educator were burned. The first public architectural design competitionwas announced in 1905, but no winner emerged. It was only after the second competition, published in 1926, that architects Bogdan Nestorović and Aleksandar Derok were appointed. Construction of the Temple began in 1935, but was soon interrupted and work only resumed in 1985. Various crises led to construction soon halting again, with the final works only relaunched and continuously implemented since 2001. This beautiful building has been renderedmagnificent by mosaic paintings and partly by iconography combined with marble slabs. Demonstrating that this temple belongs to all believers are the nine bronze doors at themain entrance that are engraved with the Lord’s Prayer in 24 languages. The northern gate’s prayer to the Holy Virgin is inscribed in eight languages. However, the welcome is primarily visual, so it can be understood by both children and tourists who have no religious education or religious affiliation. And everyone exits the Temple having drawn the same conclusion: that it is the most beautiful edifice they’ve ever seen. Or that this building in Vračar is at least equal to Istanbul’s magnificent Hagia Sophia. počela je izgradnja Hrama, ali je ubrzo prekinuta Construction of the Temple began in 1935, but was soon interrupted miliona kamenčića ima u mozaiku There are 50 million stones in the mosaic umetnika radilo je na Hramu artists worked on the temple 1935. 50 300