1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chupriya

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CHUPRIYA (sometimes written Tiupriia; Croatian Cuprÿa), the capital of the Morava department of Servia, on the railway from Belgrade to Nish, and on the right bank of the Morava, which is navigable up to this point by small sailing-vessels. Pop. (1900) about 6000. Some of the finest Servian cattle are bred in the neighbouring lowlands, and the town has a considerable trade in plums and other farm-produce. A light railway, leading to several important collieries, runs for 13 m. through the beech-forests and mountains on the east. Cloth is woven at Parachin, 5 m. S.; and Yagodina, 8 m. W. by N., is an important market town. Among the foothills of the Golubinye Range, 7 m. E.N.E., is the 14th-century Ravanitsa monastery, with a ruined fort and an old church—their walls and frescoes pitted by Turkish bullets. There is a legend that here the Servian tsar Lazar (1374–1389) was visited by an angel, who bade him choose between an earthly and a heavenly crown. In accordance with his choice, Lazar fell fighting at Kossovo, and was buried at Ravanitsa; his body being afterwards transferred, through fear of the Turks, to another Ravanitsa, in eastern Slavonia. His crucifix is treasured among the monastic archives, which also contain a charter signed by Peter the Great of Russia (1672–1725). Manasia (Manasiya), the still more celebrated foundation of Stephen, the son and successor of Lazar, lies 12 m. N. of Ravanitsa. Built in a cleft among the hills which line the river Resava, an affluent of the Morava, this monastery is enclosed in a fortress, whose square towers, and curtain without loopholes or battlements, remain largely intact. Within the curtain stand the monastic buildings, a large garden and a cruciform chapel, with many curious old stone carvings, half hidden beneath whitewash. Numerous gifts from the Russian court, such as gospels lettered in gold and silver relief, or jewelled crucifixes, are preserved on the spot; but the valuable library was removed, in the 15th century, to Mount Athos.