The monastery Saint Michael Archangel (Samostan svetog Arkanđela Mihaila), or monastery of Krka (Samostan Krka in Croatian, Manastir Krka (Манастир Крка) into Serb), is a monastery of orthodoxe rite Serb dedicated to the holy archangel Michel. It is the Serb orthodoxe monastery of Croatia most known and one of the most important spiritual centers of the orthodoxe diocese (éparchie) of Dalmatia, which has its seat with Šibenik. It profits from the protection of the National park of Krka.
The monastery of Krka is located at 3 km of Kistanje, in a part widened and quiet of the valley, called Carigradska Draga, the “handle of Carigrad”, or Aranđelovac according to the monastery. The monastery dominates this part of the valley of Krka and offer a beautiful panorama.µ
The monastery of Krka was built in the middle of the 14th century by Bosnian monks on the foundations of an old monastery of hermits. It was mentioned for the first time in 1402 as an equipment of the princess Jelena Šubić (Nemanjić), half-sister of the emperor of Serbia, Dušan, and marries of Mladen III Šubić, Croatian duke of Skradin and Bribir.
The church Saint Michael Archangel was set up in 1422 on the site of an old building of the Gothic period. The Turks devastated the church around 1530. At the 17th century, the monks of the monastery were forced to flee in front of the Othomans and found refuge in Zadar.
The buildings of the monastery, the church and the bell-tower surround a rectangular cloister with arcades. The church was built in the Byzantine style, while the bell-tower, completed in 1790, adopts the Renaissance style.
The current buildings of the monastery date from 18th and 19th centuries. A large building of seminar and a building dormitory were added recently. The monastic complex also understands a chapel Saint-Sava built at the 19th century. Below the monastery is a cemetery.
The monastery has a large library rich in old manuscripts, rare books and incunables, as well as invaluable objects dating from the 14th century to our days, silverwares and embroideries. The small chapel Saint-Sava has an interesting collection of icons (in particular a saint Jean-Baptiste of 14th or 15th century).
From April to October, it is possible to come to visit the monastery Saint Michael Archangel thanks to the excursions in boats of the National park, the beginning of Roški Slap, or by the road: since Skradin, to 35 km in the south, to take road 56, out of 17 km, then road 509, out of 15 km, to the village of Kistanje; in Kistanje, to turn right: the monastery is to 3 km.