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Sycultour

Church of St. John the Forerunner

The Church of St. John the Forerunner was built in distinctive Vojvodina baroque style in 1790 in the foundation of a former church.

Description

This Orthodox place of worship was built in the period 1515-1541 in the foundation of a former Cobor-Szent-Mihaly Dominican church from the reign of Hungarian king Mattias Corvinus. In 1514 the call for crusade against Turks was nailed at the church’s door. After the conquest of Sombor in 1541, it was turned into a mosque by Turks. Immediately after Turks left the town in 1687, the former mosque was adapted into the Church of Saint John the Forerunner. The priests of the Church of Saint John the Forerunner regularly kept baptism, marriage and death registries of their believers since 1744. The old church was pulled down in August 1786 whereas in September the same year the foundation was sanctified for a new church that was built in the shape of basilica with semicircular apse. The construction lasted for four years and the new building of the Church was built in distinctive baroque style with elements of rococo. The church’s building was consecrated in December 1790. The parts of the old church and tower, i.e. the old mosque and minaret were partially built in the new church. Historians and experts in Sombor architecture of Turkish time noticed that the present church, or certain parts of it, show hidden signs of Turkish features (stairs leading to choir part are similar to those in mosques, semicircular balcony is not a typical detail in Orthodox churches, … Iconostasis with a rich late baroque decoration, with elements of neo classicism, was painted by the painter Pavel Đurković and finished in August 1809. The carpenter was Aleksa Teodorović from Baja, but there was also a contract with Avram Manojlović from Novi Sad who was given 2,500 forints to finish the frame of the iconostasis, the church’s dining table and Christ’s grave. The Church tower obtained its present look around 1820. The church and its iconostasis were restored in 1883 and extensive restorations were carried out in 1978 and 2006.

Responsibility

1. Serbian orthodox church; 2. Institute for the Protection of Culture Monuments of Vojvodina Province

Role

Church has a special significance in social, historical and cultural development of Serbs in Sombor and these parts of the Pannonian Plain. It has been a witness to important historic events and represents an important example of creative work of its time. The church dedicated to St. John the Forerunner has outstanding artistic and esthetic value as a separate building, but it also contributes to esthetic and ambient values of the old city centre in Sombor.National importance

Potential usability

The Church of St. John the Forerunner is used for religious ceremonies of Serbian Orthodox religious community, the largest is Sombor today. Occasionally it is visited by organised groups of believers and domestic tourists. Beside religious ceremonies, the church could be used for organizing cultural events that by its contents would not disturb the concept of religious institution.


ZRC SAZU
CTRIA HCC RoT Občina Jesenice CMS PAT PRA UNSPMF Chamber of Economy of Vojvodina