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festung

LOVČIĆ

Lovcic velika

A tiny, almost forgotten town of Lovčić is located above the opulent Stupnik vineyards some twenty kilometres west of Slavonski Brod. Lovčić is unique in the Slavonski-Brod-Posavina County and wider in that it guards the memory of the medieval past of the region. It is home to St. Martin's Church dating back to 1167 and the remnants of an early medieval fortress. What makes this place so fascinating is the fact that almost all trace of early medieval Croatian past have disappeared from this region primarily because fortresses and churches were at that time built from easily perishable materials, mostly wood. And while in other places there are only legends of churches and fortresses, in Lovčić they exist in reality.

St. Martin's Church is a stone late-Romanesque, single-aisle building which exclusively served religious purposes unlike other fortress churches of the time. Today St. Martin's is the only church from this period that has been preserved in the Slavonski Brod region, but we can assume that it was just one in a series of similar churches as was the case in Istria or parts of northwest Croatia. However, unlike Mediterranean Romanesque churches with clear Byzantine architectural influences and iconography, St. Martin's Church in Lovčić is undoubtedly an example of western European Romanesque style. Its walls are decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from everyday life. Both the frescoes and the church are fascinating and invite to be rediscovered.

To be found in close proximity of the church are remnants of a late medieval fortress called Gradina which dates back to the 10th-13th centuries. It was burnt down, which is why its destruction can be dated back to 1241/1242, the time of Tatar invasion. The Tatars were known to have destroyed medieval fortifications in the western Christian world by burning them down.

Today, Lovčić, its church and Gradina are eager to be rediscovered. We are convinced that the ethno-village that is being set up in Lovčić will contribute to people rediscovering this medieval pearl.