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  The Nemanjics
Serbian: Nemanjic /Ne:manyitch/



Two headed eagle was adopted from the Byzantine heritage and soon it became the symbol of Serbian kings as well of the Serbian state. This symbol can be seen on a Catalonian map from 1339 and it represented the capital of Serbian Empire under Dusan. White royal eagle of the House of Nemanjics can be seen on fresco in Ljeviska monastery.

The royal house of Nemanjic ruled Serbia from the 12th century up to 1371. Being kings of Serbia for almost three centuries, the Nemanjics created one powerful and organized state, built numerous churches and monasteries and even wrote some of the greatest literal works of their time.

Stefan Nemanja was the founder of the state and his second son became the very first king of Serbia, while Stefan himself had the title of the Great Duke. His son Rastko, went to the monastery and took a name of Sava.

He tried hard and finally gained independence for the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1219 and he devoted himself to the art and faith. He was proclaimed a saint right after his death; the Turks wanted to suppress every thought of independence so they burnt his bones in Belgrade in 1594. This act just revived the faith and fight for the freedom of the Serbs. You can learn more about his life by reading the translation of the original document from the 13th century, "The Life of St. Sava" by Theodosy of Chilandar in the part of the web site entitled Manuscripts.

Codex of the Chilandar Monastery written by St. Sava (Prince Rastko Nemanjic)

On September 8th 1331, Stefan Dusan was crowned. This king was a great conqueror and under his rule Serbia was one of the most powerful and influential European states (see the map on the right). King Dusan, in 1336 became the emperor of all "Serbs and Greeks", and proclaimed a Law Codex known as Dusan's Law Codex which regulated the life within Serbian empire. You can read those extracts in Manuscripts section of this web site.

The very last king from this house was Uros IV, called 'the weak' The rest of the Serbian nobility separated the country and continued to rule within their dukedoms.











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