Đurđevi stupovi (Serbian Cyrillic: Ђурђеви cтупови) (English: The Tracts of Saint George, often incorrectly translated as The Pillars of Saint George) is a 12th-century Serbian Orthodox monastery located in the vicinity of today's city of Novi Pazar, in the Raška region of Serbia. The Tracts of Saint George Monastery is near Novi Pazar, on the top of prominent elevation covered with woods. Monastery was erected around 1170 year as an endowment of Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja. The monastery is exceptional not only for its position and significance it had according to biographic texts, but also for its particular architecture. It was named after the church dedicated to Saint George and its two former bell towers, two high towers – pillars (old Slavic language- stolp, stub). Namely, according to Stefan Prvovencani, Nemanja had built this church to commemorate his gratitude to St. George for saving him from dungeons-caves where he was put by his brothers. The monastery complex consisted of church of Saint George, dining-room, refectory, water tanks and walls around entry tower. The architecture of the Saint George Pillars Monastery is very characteristic representing unique synthesis of two medieval construction concepts, Byzantine in the East and Roman in the West. Monastery is a building with a set of architectural and construction innovation in that period, among which there are two remarkable towers, lateral vestibules, cupola with elliptic basis, irregular shape of altar area, as well as specific arrangement of the central dome space of the church. Single-aisle temple with the alter consisting of three apses, naos and narthex, in its external appearance reflects the spirit of Roman construction. The combination of Byzantine spatial arrangement and Roman architecture resulted in original symbiosis that has been the ground for special architectural style. The entry tower, after the additional construction of apses in the east side in 1282-83, had been turned into chapel that king Dragutin designed for his tomb. The inside of the chapel is covered by frescos with historical content and portraits of the Nemanjics. The frescoes of this Monastery, rendered in the best tradition of the Comnenus style and skillfully adapted to the architecture of the temple, which is especially pronounced in the all-embracing cupola, have particular value. The most impressive is the picture of Saint George on the horse, which is above the main entrance in the church. Beside this very distinctive one are frescoes of four Serbian state councils where important decisions related to the Serbian history were made. A small building has been erected in front of the monastery and it is used as a museum for the protection and exhibition of the most important fragments from church and other structures, where some have been fully composed and reconstructed. As a part of the entity Stari Ras with Sopocani, Saint George Pillars Monastery has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1979 and it is on the Transromanica Route.
Stari Ras (Serbian: Стари Рас; meaning Old Ras, old Latin name Arsa), known at the time as Ras, was one of the first capitals of the medieval Serbian state of Raška, and the most important one for a long period of time. Located in today's region of Raška, the city was right in the centre of the early medieval state that started to spread in all directions. It was founded between 8th and 9th centuries and got deserted sometime in the 13th century. Its favorable position in the area known as Old Serbia, along the Raška gorge, on the crossroads between the Adriatic Sea and state of Zeta, Bosnia in the west and Kosovo in the east added to its importance as a city. There is an impressive group of medieval monuments consisting of fortresses, churches and monasteries. The monastery at Sopoćani is a reminder of the contacts between Western world and the Byzantine world. Today the city lies in mostly unenclosed and unprotected ruins close to the city of Novi Pazar, which probably began its own life as a trading enclave for Ras. However, there are plans for future reconstruction of the site. The site of Stari Ras, in combination with the nearby Monastery of Sopoćani, is already a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Stari Ras monastery (12th century) is being reconstructed and it too may be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List with the site. Stari Ras and Sopoćani World Heritage site is not far from another UNESCO World Heritage Site of Serbia, the magnificent medieval monastery and churches of Studenica. The 4th century Church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul is one of the oldest in the Balkans.