The Church of St. Sava (Храм Светог Саве / Hram Svetog Save: the Temple of Saint Sava) is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world and generally one of the largest religious buildings.
The church is dedicated to St. Sava, founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church, built on the Vračar plateau where the remains of the saint were cremated by the Ottomans. Due to its location, the church of St. Sava dominates the horizon of Belgrade and is the most monumental building in the city.
The idea of building the temple was initiated in 1895, 300 years after the death of St. Sava, when a committee of believers was formed for this purpose. However, in addition to the difficulty of raising money, the Balkan Wars and World War I followed, having as a result the construction to begin in 1935. Still, after the foundations and walls were built at a height of 11 meters, construction was halted due to World War II and its aftermath, the German invasion of Serbia, the bombing of Belgrade and the subsequent Nazi occupation.
Serbian Patriarch German II revived the idea in 1958, and after 88 requests to the communist regime, the construction was approved in 1984. Work began on August 12, 1985. A significant milestone in the work is the installation of a 4,000 tons central dome, built entirely on the ground. The ascent of the dome took 40 days of work!
The temple forms a cross with side dimensions of 91 and 81 meters, covering an area of 3500 square meters. The central dome reaches a height of 70 meters and has a gold-plated cross of 12 meters on it! There are 18 more gilded crosses of various sizes in the other domes and 49 bells in the bell towers.
The exterior walls are covered with white marble and granite while the interior is decorated with mosaics which are now under construction.
The temple can accommodate 10,000 faithful, making it the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans and one of the five largest in the world. In addition to its religious function, it is one of the attractions of Belgrade, attracting many visitors.