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Jovan Branković

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Title: Jovan Branković  
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Subject: List of Serbian monarchs, Inđija, List of Serbs, Syrmia, List of local rulers of Vojvodina, Irig, Serbia, Fruška Gora, Stefan Branković, History of Vojvodina, Serbian Despotate
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Jovan Branković

Despot Jovan
Jovan Branković
Serbian Despot

Frescoe of Despot Jovan Branković in Krušedol Monastery
Despot of Serbia
Reign 1496–1502
Predecessor Despot Đorđe
Successor Jelena Jaksić (as Despotissa)
Spouse Jelena Jaksić
Full name
Jovan Stefanović Branković
Posthumous name
Saint Despot Jovan
House Branković CoatOfArmsOfJovanStefanovicBrankovic.png
Father Stefan Branković
Mother Angelina Arianites
Died 10 December 1502
Burial Krušedol monastery
Religion Serbian Orthodox Christian

Jovan Branković (pronounced [jɔ̌v̞an brǎːnkɔv̞itɕ] ; died 10 December 1502) was the titular Despot of Serbia from 1496 until his death in 1502. He held the title of despot given to him by Vladislas II of Hungary, and ruled a region known as Racszag (after Rascia, being equivalent of modern Vojvodina) under the Kingdom of Hungary. Despot Jovan was the last Serbian Despot of the Branković Dynasty, which was regarded as legitimate successors of the "holy Nemanjić's", they continued the ktetor to Chilandar and other sacred things to protect the nation and the religion (Serbian Orthodox Church).[1] He was proclaimed a Saint in 1505, under the name Saint Despot Jovan.


The Ottoman Empire had conquered Serbia during the rule of Stefan Tomašević; Sultan Mehmed II had arrived at Smederevo, and by June 20, 1459, the Serbian capital was officially conquered. In 1463, they had conquered Bosnia as well.

In 1404, Sigismund of Hungary gave Stefan Lazarević the Syrmia region. His successor, Đurađ Branković, Jovan's grandfather, began ruling in 1427. Đurađ Branković was deemed by his contemporaries as the richest monarch, having a steady income from the gold and silver mines of Novo Brdo.


Jovan was the son of Stefan Branković, despot of Serbia 1458-1459 and Saint Angelina.

He ruled jointly with his brother Đorđe from 1493, and when Đorđe took monastic vows (he becomes the Archbishop of Belgrade, Maxim), Jovan took the throne in 1496. He had different goals to those of his brother Đorđe, Jovan did not seek to create a heavenly empire, but sought to defeat the Turks and drive them out of his lands, and as such be entitled the ranks of his ancestors. He fought successfully with the Ottoman Empire, several operations in Bosnia, especially around Zvornik. Jovan planned to free the Serbs from Ottoman rule with the help of the Republic of Venice, but he was stopped with his death in 1502. After his death, the hope of restoring Serbia under the advancing of the Ottoman Empire became weaker.[2]

He married noblewoman Jelena Jaksić, with whom he had five children. After his death, his wife ruled as Despotissa and then she married Ivaniš Berislavić, who was given the title despot of Serbia in 1504 by the Hungarian King.

He is mentioned in the "Dell'Imperadori Constantinopolitani", or Massarelli manuscript, found in the papers of Angelo Massarelli (1510–1566).[3]


Saint Despot Jovan
Died 10 December 1502
Krušedol monastery, present day Vojvodina, Serbia
Honored in Serbian Orthodox Church
Feast December 2

His cult began in 1505. He was buried at the Krušedol monastery, and laid together with his family in coffins at the altar after the death of his brother, the Bishop Maxim (January 18, 1516), later given sainthood on December 2,[1] the Turks, however, burned the holy relics in 1716 after the loss at Battle of Petrovaradin and only the left arm of Angelina and some minor body parts of other members were spared, proclaimed holy relics of the Serbian Orthodox Church.[2]


He married Serbian noblewoman Jelena Jaksić, who is mentioned as “Helena, Serbiæ despotissa” in a charted dated to 1502. They had 5 children, all of whom were daughters:

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Đorđe Branković
Serbian Despot

Succeeded by
Ivaniš Berislavić



  • "Dell'Imperadori Constantinopolitani"
  • Mitrović, K. 2008, "Povelja despotice Jelene Jakšić manastiru Hilandaru", Stari srpski arhiv, no. 7, pp. 195–203.
  • Tubić, D. 2006, "The Branković family from Srem in historiography", Spomenica Istorijskog arhiva Srem, no. 5, pp. 232–242.
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