The complex of the Monastery Savina is located 2 km east of Herceg Novi in the unique ambience of Mediterranean vegetation. It consists of two churches dedicated to the ascension the Virgin, the monastery dormitory with the treasury and the church of St. Sava, separated at a nearby hill.
The monastery’s treasury contains extremely valuable objects – exhibits among which are distinguished: crystal cross of St. Sava from the 13th century, reliquary of the Monastery Tvrdos from 1615, Jesus shroud from 1642, the silver host tray from 1648, one chalice from 1650, the gospel of 1685, unique portrait of the Russian Emperor Peter the Great as well as a series of carved and richly handmade and decorated old throne crosses. In the monastery library there is a large number of valuable books and documents.
In addition to the museum treasures that are exhibited in the treasury, Savina also has a holy miraculous icon, Mother of God, called the Virgin of Savina. This worthy icon is considered miraculous by pious people, without distinction in faith. It is credited with the salvation of the monastery when Venetian captain Grerman, sailing in by galleys under the monastery, wanted to blow it up. The icon was contributed to the monastery by the family of captain Josip Komnenovic from Topla. In addition to this icon, in the large church there is also a small icon of the Mother of God, the contribution of the Russian empress Catherine the Great.
Above the doors of the Small Church of the Ascension of the Virgin, on the internal side, there is a fresco – inscription dating from 1831, whereby as the year of origin is mentioned 1030, but it is considered more likely that the church originated from the time of Kosac. On the inner walls, several layers of fresco painting were discovered and the oldest was found under the layer of frescoes is from 1565. It is believed that it was made in the middle of the 15th century since has the stylistic characteristics of painting by Lovro Dobricevic.
The youngest painting is from 1831. Iconostasis is composed of several parts from different epochs. Imperial doors called “from Tvrdos” and a great Crucifixion above it was made in 1703 by Dimitrije Daskal and the temple icon of the Ascension of the Virgin was made by his son Rafailo.
The great church of the Ascension of the Virgin was built from 1777 to 1799 by the master of Korcula, Nikola Foretic. The preserved documents show that in 454 workers participated in the construction in the first eight years. In architectural terms, the church is a mixture of styles from the Byzantine, Romanesque – Greek to Baroque and is a true example of a successful connection of Eastern and Western culture, which in this area has for centuries merged into remarkable works of art. Iconostasis in the church, made by iconographer from Bijelo Polje, priest Simeon Lazovic, with the help of his son Aleksej, in 1795, also represents a successful blend of traditional iconography and new baroque forms. The Great Savina Church does not have one donor. The donor are people themselves. The multiplicity of saved obituaries of some families in the church confirms this.
Savina is a monastery that gained lasting respect among the surrounding population and has raised under its vaults a gallery of true monks who were great patriots, hard workers, bearers of culture and education in the time of the flourishing of the freedomary ideas of the people of this region. For years, in Savina has been run the school by many people that became famous later.
Church of St. Sava is located on a hill above the dormitory and for it the tradition says that it was built by St. Sava in the 13th century. The monastery was even named after him as well as the whole place where it is located. Around the church there is a courtyard and not great cemetery with a well known viewpoint and a view that reaches even to Lovcen.
It was built in the tradition of domestic sacral architecture single-apsis, 9,5m long and 6m wide and height of about 6m, with a bell-tower on the distaff and oculus above the western door. Antimins (i.e. one of the most important furnishings of the altar in many Eastern Christian liturgical traditions) originates from the time of Arsenije IV Jovanovic Sakobent, in 1740, he was consecrated by Paul, the bishop of Herzegovina and Mileseva, in 1794. The view from this place to the monastery and Boka Bay is magnificent and unforgettable.