The Serbian Orthodox Chapel

Pécs Attractions - Sights in Pécs

The Serbian Orthodox Chapel

The Serbian Orthodox Chapel
7621 Pécs, Zrínyi Miklós u. 15.

Christian churches were mostly destroyed or converted into mosques by the conquerors during the Turkish era, at the same time however, a Serbian Bishopric was established to cater for the needs of the large number of Serbian mercenaries serving in the ranks of the occupying army. During the Turkish occupation the Catholic clergy was to pay a tax to the Serbian bishopric. According to written documentations there was a Serbian orthodox church in Pécs during this period, however, it was later reconstructed and an inn opened in its place. The Chapel existing today should rather be called a prayer house as it was created by the transformation of an apartment house. It was opened in 1949. This building, along with many others, was also nationalised, it was returned to the Greek Orthodox Church as late as 1998.
The iconostas presented by the town of Szentendre is a unique highlight of the Serbian orthodox church. The paintings depict the twelve apostles, but the prayer books printed in Russia and written in religious Slavic language are also significant.
The congregation still gathers for regular daily services. The church is not only frequented by local Serbians but by Greek students studying here too. The chapel was named after Saint Simeon who chose a special form of seclusion: he did not retreat to a cave or a hut but onto the top of a pillar. A stone slab was placed on the top of a 5 to 10 metres high stone pillar, this was surrounded by a railing and the ascetic anchorite prayed, did his penances and fasted up there. Over time he was moving to higher and higher columns. The last pillar is said to have been about 20 metres tall. He lived about forty years on the pillars.

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