St. Sava Temple is the largest Orthodox temple of the Balkan region (encompassing Greece, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, etc.), and one of the largest in the world. It stands on the ground where the Turks had burnt the mortal remains of St. Sava, the founder of the Serbian Orthodox church, in the 16th century. Occupying one of the most dominating plateaus of Belgrade, the temple’s imposing silhouette is visible throughout the city.
St. Sava Temple, clad in granite and marble, is a masterpiece of the Serbo-Byzantine architectural style. It features four semicircular steeples and the attached turrets, crowned with gilded crosses. The great dome, on top of which can be seen a 12 meters high cross, is 82 meters tall. Glittering sight during the day, illuminated St. Sava Temple becomes one of Belgrade’s most resplendent sights when the night falls.
As you enter the temple, sparse decoration gives way to broadness, which underlines the endless power and glory of the God. Temporary decoration (decorating of the interior hardly begun) mostly consists of icon reproductions and wooden iconostasis. The base of the apse is the only part of the temple that is fully decorated so far.
Although significantly higher when compared with other Orthodox religious structures, differences in styles between the Orthodox and Catholic ecclesiastical structures can be easily perceived through this example. While Catholic ecclesiastical structures soar to heavens, hinting closeness to the God, Orthodox worshipping places tend to expand breadthwise. Peaked features of the Catholic structures, compared to oval Orthodox, make yet another dramatic distinction.