Within the compound of this monastery there are four churches from different period, i.e. from mid-13th century to the fourth decade of the 14th century, and they share the same narthex.
The oldest church, dedicated to Saint Apostles, was built in the first half of the 13th century. The construction was started by St Sava in his later days, as he is painted as the ktetor in one of the frescos. There are indications that this church was erected on the spot of previous religious objects. Arch-episcope Arsenije I was also one of the ktetors, and in 1250 he invited the fresco painters to work on the church. Therefore, the oldest frescoes are from that year, and were done by anonymous masters. Most beautiful are the paintings on the dome – the Ascension of Christ, and in the zone right under the dome – scenes from Christ’s life and events after his crucifixion. The themes on the frescos of this church were taken from the most important Christian church in Zion. The paintings were renovated around the year 1300, and again half a century later. Some renovations took place in later periods as well, but those latter frescoes were below the quality of the early ones.
The altar and the space under the dome, along with singing niches, are the oldest parts of the Saint Apostles preserved to this day in their authentic form, without later expansions and masonry works. The church was built almost exclusively of stone, and originally plastered outer wall had painted ornaments on them.
The existing iconostasis was done in 1722, and is considered a significant part, with two throne icons being of special value. This church is the resting place of arch-episcopes Arsenije I, Ioanichie II, Sava II and other dignitaries of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The church of Saint Demetrius
This church was erected by Arch-episcope Nikodim, between 1320 and 1324. It is built of alternating layers of stone and bricks, which contributes toe the decoration of the outer appearance. Particularly striking is a spacious dome. With its size, the altar area stands out among other Serb churches built in the 14th century. On the other hand, the western side around the entrance to the temple is lower and not so well illuminated.
The paintings were done in 1340, the merit of Arch-episcope Ioanichie II. Frescos from that period have been seriously damaged, so in the 17th century they were renovated rather faithfully by Georgije Mitrofanovic. Dominating is the composition of the donor, Emperor Dusan, King Uros, Patriarch Ioanichie and St Sava.
The stone iconostasis dates back to the time when the church was built, but holds three icons from the later periods.
Buried in the church were Arch-episcopes Nikodim, Jefrem and Sava IV.
Virgin Mary Hodegetria
The church of Holy Mary was built in 1330, south of the main temple, owing to the donation of arch-episcope and writer Danilo II. The church has the foundation in the shape of unfolded inscribed cross, so the octagonal dome is carried by free pillars. The walls are made of stone and bricks, decorated in ornamental paintings, where even today it is possible to see some of the rosettes and crosses. The beautiful two-part window, biphora, done in a gothic style on the eastern side was probably inserted later, but soon after the construction. Along with the other biphora on the southern façade, it sits well with the overall architectural design.
The entire interior of the church is covered in paintings that were completed around 1337, and the frescoes have been well preserved. Certainly dominant is the ktetor composition of Danilo II, holding the model of the church. Not much has been left from the original iconostasis, only two small columns at the ends, but it is enough to see that it must have been impressive. The icons are the work of contemporary painters. Standing in the church is the throne of Holy Mary from 1960, done in the deep relief.
In the northwestern corner of the church is the coffin of pink marble, where the remains of Arch-bishop Danilo II used to be.
The smallest of the churches within the compound of the Pec Patriarchy was built between 1330 and 1337, again owing to Arch-episcope Danilo II. Its architectural construction is very simple. At issue is a single-piece edifice of stone and brick, where traces of older frescos can be seen.
The existing paintings were done in 1677 by master Radul, after the order of Patriarch Maxim. The skillfully cut, golden-plated wooden frame of the iconostasis has been preserved, as made in 1677. It only holds the royal portal. One of the ktetors, Patriarch Maxim was buried in the church.
The common narthex for all these churches was built by Arch-episcope Danilo II, upon the completion of the church of Virgin Mary Hodegetria, around 1335. It was first painted immediately after the construction, and later again in 1565, by masters Andrei and Longin. The narthex also hosts the tomb of patriarch Makarije.
For centuries, the Pec Patriarchy was being the seat of Serbian arch-episcopes and patriarchs. Since its establishing, it was gathering educated theology experts, writers, artists. Despite all difficulties, a lot of manuscripts, icons, golden items and embroideries have been preserves in the treasury. Among those is the Oktoih Petoglasnik, the first illustrated South Slavic incunabula, and oldest Cyrillic-printed book in the Balkans from 1494. In the narthex, the original baptistery is preserved. Alongside the church of Saint Apostles, to this day there is a stone throne where St Sava and other dignitaries would sit during the assemblies. A special value is the bell from 1432, known under the name of its caster Rodop. In the churchyard is pyrgos - the tower with the chapel of Daniel Stolpnik.
The monastery is located in the vicinity of Pec, besides the Pecka Bistrica River, on the entrance to the Rugovska gorge, in Kosmet.