Crucified Kosovo: Destroyed And Desecrated Serbian Orthodox Churches In Kosovo And Metohia The Truth Has No Owner
Destroyed And Desecrated Serbian Orthodox Churches In Kosovo And Metohia (1999-2000)

2. THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY VIRGIN, Musutiste near Suva Reka

The church of the Holy Virgin Hodegetria was built as a foundation by Dragoslav, the then chief court governor, and his family, in 1315, in Musutiste, about 10 km to the south-east of Suva Reka. The founder's inscription above the entrance was one of the oldest and most beautiful Serbian epigraphic texts of its kind. It was an edifice with a semi-dome, had an inscribed cross in the ground plan and a semi-round apse. The wall was built of alternating rows of bricks and stone cubes. The frescoes of the Musutiste School, painted between 1316 and 1320 and famed for their plasticity and the saints' typology were known as the best examples of Serbian art. That earned them a place in the company of other mature artistic works of the Palaeologus era from the first quarter of the 14th century. In the altar area there was a unique portrait of the South-Slav educator, St Clement of Ohrid. In the north-western corner of the naos there were figures of holy women, the warriors SS Theodore Tyro and Theodore Stratilates, angels, and St Paneteleimon. Two throne icons of Christ and The Holy Virgin dated back to the year 1603.

The church before destruction

The church after the mining

The parish house destroyed by fire

The view of the belfry and the destroyed church
Destroyed frescoes (1316-1320): unknown martyr, unknown saint, St Panteleimon, St Clement of Ohrid, St Theodore; also, desecrated icon of Christ (1603)

After the arrival of the German KFOR forces, and after the evacuation of the Serbian population from the area (15th to 20th June 1999), the church was desecrated, vandalized and looted by the local Albanian villagers. The home of the priest, and the parish house, were looted and set on fire. Early in June, the church was destroyed by explosive.