Byzantine influenced Serbia during Medieval century was struggling for independence under Grand Prefect Stefan Nemanja in late 12th century to be exact. This struggle was only one part of much larger project. Stefan Nemanja wanted to create medieval state by creating institutions of both religious and civil authority for he knew that those institutions would eventually outlive any ruler. Having that in mind, 12th century, Studenica church built by Stefan Nemanja, founder of the Nemanjic dinasty that would rule Medieval Sebia, is therefore considered as the most important religious object in the country. Stefan Nemanja’s descendants continued to build on those very foundations and as soon as next generation had arrived, Serbia became kingdom with autonomous Serbian Orthodox Church centered around Studenica Monastery.
As far as architecture is concerned, Studenica still conveys ecumenical massage. It was built by masons from town of Kotor on the Adriatic coast in present day Montenegro. As such it resembles western catholic churches, while painters from Constantinople decorated interior in Byzantine, Orthodox style. This interesting mixture in Studenica’s architecture that can only be seen in Serbia, defined artistic principles of what would become known as Raska style in Serbian Medieval architecture. Serbian-Byzantine and Moravian style were yet to follow. Since 1986, Studenica has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.