OAJ Tour of the Balkans Led by Andrew Gould

By OAJ Editorial Staff on January 10, 2023

Manasija Monastery

The Orthodox Arts Journal is sponsoring its first-ever art and architecture package tour, which will take place in the Balkans.

This tour will last 2 to 2-1/2 weeks, and will visit all the key sites for medieval architecture, frescoes, and liturgical art in Serbia, Kosovo, and North Macedonia.

Leading the tour will be Andrew Gould, American church designer and liturgical artist, and founder of the Orthodox Arts Journal. Our local co-leader will be Ivan Krucican, an expert in medieval art from the National Museum in Belgrade.

Tour Leader Andrew Gould

Andrew chose the Balkans for our tour because of the unique confluence of Eastern and Western artistic influence there. In this region, one can find Romanesque architecture akin to that of Western Europe, but built for Orthodox worship and painted with Byzantine frescoes.

The contemporary adaptation of Orthodox traditions to western culture has been a primary interest of the Orthodox Arts Journal from the beginning. The Balkans allows us to see how a similar convergence occurred in the middle ages. The monuments we see there will be a catalyst for lively discussions about Orthodoxy and art in the contemporary west.

The tour is being organized in collaboration with Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky and Orthodox Tours, who have many years of experience crafting outstanding travel experiences.

The OAJ Balkans tour is scheduled to begin in Belgrade on May, 30th, 2023, and end in Skopje on June 12th.

Anyone with interest in joining this tour, or a future OAJ tour, is asked to write directly to Andrew Gould (andrew@newworldbyzantine.com) to be placed on the email list for this event.

Gradac Monastery

St. Naum Monastery

St. Naum Monatery

Zica Monastery

Decani Monastery

Decani Monastery

Decani Monastery

Crna Reka Monastery

Church of the Theotokos of Ljevisha in Prizren

Gracanica Monastery

Markov Monastery

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16 Comments

  1. Jasna on January 11, 2023 at 1:53 am

    If you are separating Kosovo from Serbia, hope you will not consider medieval Byzantine Christian heritage on Kosovo to be of Albanian origin.

    • Andrew Gould on January 11, 2023 at 1:29 pm

      Obviously not. Do the Albanians in Kosovo claim such heritage as their own?

      • Nikola on January 13, 2023 at 2:26 am

        We Serbs tend to be sensitive when Kosovo is presented as a country, rather than a region of Serbia, that’s what Jasna was implying I assume. I would suggest putting a clarification that this tour will be visiting Kosovo and Metohija, rather than just “Kosovo”. This I would strongly suggest putting close to your hearts when visiting the monasteries there, as this “small” distinction is a matter of life and death to Serbs that still remain living there.

  2. Peter van Loo on January 11, 2023 at 3:28 am

    defenitily interested.

    is there a date already ?

    • Andrew Gould on January 11, 2023 at 1:30 pm

      Tentatively end of May/early June, but with potential to push it back if we don’t find enough participants for those dates.

  3. Virginia Crippen on January 11, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    Considering Viking tour Budapest to Bucharest. Would like t o consider yours. Thank you.

  4. Ingeborg Kolar on January 11, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Temptations abound!!! How can I resist so much beauty!Ingeborg Kol

  5. Sandra Goth on January 11, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    Very interested. Do you costing completed at this point. Sandra Goth

  6. Cathleen Fortune on January 11, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    I am most interested. Please keep me informed as to the status.
    Cathleen

  7. Cathleen Fortune on January 11, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    Gracanica Monastery – it looks like Simoneda has been restored. Is that in fact the case?
    I’ve been to Gracanica twice and would love to visit once more. As an icon painter,
    I am most excited to hear of this tour.

  8. Fr Anthony on January 12, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    Macedonian people do not appreciate the word N before the name

    • Andrew Gould on January 12, 2023 at 4:04 pm

      How would they suggest foreigners distinguish their country from the area of Greece of the same name?

  9. Glad on January 18, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    Very interested. Please keep me in the loop.

  10. Mike Johnson on January 19, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    What’s the cost? Sounds real interesting.

  11. Kathryn on January 28, 2023 at 11:32 am

    I have young kids and it’s hard for me to take a trip like this right now, but in the future I would love to! I hope you keep doing these.

  12. Noreen on February 1, 2023 at 6:51 am

    looks amazing. please add me to your you e-blasts about the this OA Journal and the trip.

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