150 Years since the foundation of the Prizren seminary


Commemorative postage stamps

Year of issue: 2021

In stock


The foundation and beginning of the work of the Serbian Orthodox seminary in Prizren (1871) is the most significant event in spiritual, educational, cultural and national history of enslaved Old Serbia, until the liberation in 1912. The first Serbian institution in the Ottoman Empire, founded after the abolition of the Patriarchate of Peć (1766), soon became the centre of educational and ecclesiastical life, and its students, who later became teachers and priests, started a great mission of restoration of education and the church. The new blood cherished the noble character of the Serbian people, guarding the ancient ecclesiastical and cultural heritage. The owner and founder of the school, Simeon Sima Andrejević Igumanov, Metropolitan Mihailo, the prince's deputy Jovan Ristić and the Russian consul Ivan Stepanovič Jastrebov were of great importance in the founding and the work of the Prizren seminary.

Numerous honorary rectors and professors have made an invaluable contribution to the 150 years of work of this school. The Prizren seminary presented the Serbian nation with three patriarchs (Varnava, Gavrilo and Irinej), a large number of bishops and clergy, educational and national activists, writers and scientists, both in the homeland and all over the world. The Bishop of Raška and Prizren and later Patriarch Pavle, took care of the work of the Prizren seminary for several decades. Diplomatic activities and the school's mission at the crossroads of conflicting worlds are especially significant, as are the sufferings of the Seminary inflicted by Albanian extremists in 1999 and 2004, the resumption of work in Niš and Prizren, at a time and circumstances when such efforts are a great feat.

Sima Igumanov, a native of Prizren (1804–1882) having been engaged in trade gained great wealth. Having had a love for his nation and a desire to contribute to its education, he bequeathed all his property to the Prizren seminary and students from the area of Old Serbia. He founded the Endowment, which is still fulfilling its mission today. The example of Sima Igumanov, a patriot and benefactor of Prizren shines as a guiding star for us and all subsequent generations.

Motif on the stamp: portrait of Sima Andrejević Igumanov (Uroš Knežević, National Museum in Belgrade), in the background the building of the Prizren seminary.

Expert colaboration: Dr. Aleksandra Novakov, expert associate of the Lexicography Department and Secretary of the Kosovo-Metohija Board of Matica Srpska, with the blessing of Bishop of Raška and Prizren Eparchy Mr. Teodosije, Rector of the Seminary.

Artistic realization of the issue: MA Anamari Banjac, academic painter


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