19 March 2015
News from Serbia is that a landslide is threatening the Klisura Monastery, a medieval place of worship. InSerbia News carried a story earlier this week about the problem:
“Following its activation, the landslide above Klisura Monastery near Arilje has now reached the foundations of this medieval holy site. Abbess Evgenija said that the monastery is under threat of being pulled down unless something is urgently done. “We are filled with fear every night and we beg the authorities for help,” she told reporters. Arilje Mayor Zoran Todorovic said that this landslide is a great problem. “We are waiting for the weather to stabilize and then we will immediately initiate works to preserve the monastery,” Todorovic told Tanjug.”
I can’t find any good images of the landslide damage, but this image from PTPC seems to show instability in close proximity to the church:
This is a Google Earth perspective view of the site of Klisura Monastery:
Klisura Monastery comprises the small cluster of buildings in the centre left of the image. In the image below I have annotated the possible landslides at this site as interpreted from the Google Earth image:
To the right (on the image) there appears to me to be a large, ancient landslide. Behind the monastery there may be another large slide, but I have much lower confidence in this one given the bedrock outcrops. However, immediately adjacent to Klisura Monastery there is an active slide, and behind the church there appears to be a dormant portion. I suspect that this has now reactivated. To work out how to save Klisura Monastery a proper mapping exercise is needed. This complex landslide setting is going to make saving site quite difficult, although it is possible that the problem is just shallow sliding in the slope supported by the retaining wall behind the church.