Motives of pilgrims for visiting monasteries Visoki Dečani and Pećka Patrijaršija

Milena Nedeljković Knežević, Maja Mijatov, Tatjana Pivac, Slađana Nedeljković


The period of returning the people to religion, that is evident in the last two decades, increased the number of the pilgrimage tours all over the world, including the Republic of Serbia. This research is oriented towards determination of different motives of Orthodox Christian Church Pilgrims from Serbia for visiting two monasteries important for Serbian medieval cultural heritage, catalogued on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Monastery Visoki Dečani and the Monastery Pećka Patrijaršija, as monasteries of high cultural and historical importance, with rich traditional spirituality, authentic architecture and fresco painting heritage. Both monasteries have significant role in the religious life of Serbians, but they also represent important symbols of the national identity among the Serbian people. Nowadays, the pilgrimage tours for visiting these monasteries are occurring in difficult conditions for Serbian citizens, due to the problem related to the safety and security situation and political conditions. This research was conducted in order to identify are there differences in pilgrims’ motivation for travelling, according to their socio-demographic characteristics. Thus, the focus on researching the motives of Serbian citizens for conducting the pilgrimage tours to these monasteries is significantly enhanced by the fact that visits to these monasteries involve even a risk for the life safety among the Serbian pilgrims. For conducting the research, we used the questionnaire with the identified 6 factors as possible motives for the pilgrimage.

Key words: pilgrims, motives, pilgrimage tours, monasteries, Serbia, Visoki Dečani, Pećka Patrijaršija

© 2019 Serbian Geographical Society, Belgrade, Serbia. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Serbia

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