Mathematical-geographical intention in orienting mediaeval churches of the Serbian monastery Gradac

Milutin Tadić, Aleksandar Petrović


The subject of the paper is an exact analysis of the orientation of the Serbian monastery churches: the Church of the Virgin Mary (13th century), St. Nicholas' Church (13th century), and an early Christian church (6th century). The paper determines the azimuth of parallel axes in churches, and then the aberrations of those axes from the equinoctial east are interpreted. Under assumption that the axes were directed towards the rising sun, it was surmised that the early Christian church's patron saint could be St. John the Baptist, that the Church of the Virgin Mary was founded on Annunciation day to which it is dedicated, and that St. Nicholas' Church is oriented in accordance with the rule (‘toward the sunrise’) even though its axis deviates from the equinoctial east by 41° degrees.


Mathematical geography, orientation, Serbian mediaeval period, monastery Gradac

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