The paper first establishes a more accurate chronology of the construction of the katholikon of the Chilandar monastery dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin. The previously proposed date of its construction at the time of hegoumenos Nikodemos is accepted and better argued. It demonstrates that the thorough renovation of the katholikon formed part of the extensive building project that king Stefan Uroš II Milutin launched after 1311/2 focusing on the monasteries of Studenica, Chilandar and Banjska. All of the king’s three undertakings as a ktetor took place at approximately the same time: the King’s church at Studenica was completed in 1313/4, the church of St Stephen at Banjska in 1314, and the church of the Presentation at Chilandar in 1315. Begun about 1312, the katholikon of Chilandar had for the most part been completed by the beginning of 1315 when the bishop of Banjska, Daniel, arrived there, bringing with him masons who had worked on the just-completed church at Banjska. They finished off the work on Chilandar’s portal and open porch in 1315 or by the middle of the following year at the latest. After the usual interval, the katholikon began to be frescoed and the painting was completed in September or October 1321.
A few years later the porch in front of the church was torn down to make way for an open exonarthex. Its ktetor was king Stefan of Dečani, whose fresco portrait was painted in the narthex. The exonarthex was built between 1322 and 1324, at the time when the abovementioned Daniel, now holding the office of bishop of Hum, was at Chilandar and oversaw the works on the western addition to the church. Its construction was likely done by Constantinopolitan builders, and the architectural carving was carried out by stonemasons from southern Italy. After his election as Serbian archbishop (1324), Daniel had several buildings erected at Peć, including the exonarthex whose plan and appearance replicate some important features of the Chilandar exonarthex, which further corroborates the date proposed here. A few decades later, the Chilandar exonarthex would become an immediate model for the façade articulation and architectural ornament of prince Lazar’s foundations in Serbia, the churches of Lazarica and Ravanica.
Prince Lazar became a new ktetor of the Chilandar exonarthex, in all likelihood shortly before 1380. He had it closed in with portals and parapets and he possibly also had it painted with frescoes. Later local tradition remembers him as the only ktetor of the “other narthex”, i.e. the exonarthex added to the west side of king Milutin’s church.