Moraca Monastery is one of the largest medieval Orthodox monuments in Montenegro. It was built on the right bank of the River Moraca, in the wider part of the canyon, on a natural plateau with a picturesque landscape.
The monastery’s sanctuary was built in 1252 by Stefan, son of King Vukan, and grandson of Nemanja, all of which is written in the inscription on the lintel of the western portal.
The monastery complex consists of the Basilica of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, the small Church of St Nicholas and a konak. The entrance to the monastery is surrounded by a high wall with two gates. The basilica is a large singlenave church built in the style of Raska churches, with a semicircular apse, lateral choirs, a dome, and unlike churches built in the coastal style, its walls are plastered. Next to the naos a wide porch was built. The main portal was built in the Roman style.
In addition to its architecture, the particular attraction of the Moraca Monastery are its paintings. Of the original paintings from the 13th century, only a small part was preserved in the diaconicon, where 11 compositions illustrating the life of the Prophet Elijah stand out in their particular monumentality and expressive strength. The splendor of these paintings exceeds any fresco paintings that were painted in this region in the 13th century earlier than Sopocani. Other parts of fresco paintings were destroyed in the first half of the 16th century, when the monastery was ravaged by the Turks, who took away the lead roof.
In the first half of the 17th century, the monastery was painted by famous painters the priest Strahinja from Budimlje, Georgije Mitrofanovic and in particular, the master Kozma, who painted the small Church of St. Nicholas in 1639. He also painted most of the icons on the large, ornately carved iconostasis.
From the once rich monastery treasury, only a few important ritual objects and liturgical books have been preserved, among which is a copy of «Oktoih First-Voice». Among the artistic treasures of the monastery church are the porch doors and naos. They are some of the most beautiful and original examples of the art of bone intarsia inlaying in wood.