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Original scientific paper


Dragan Damjanović

Full text: croatian pdf 1.246 Kb

page 139-156

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The Šarengrad Franciscan church of St. Peter and Paul belongs to a group of most significant preserved medieval monuments of Slavonia and Srijem. This single-nave triple-bay Gothic building with a polygonal apse was built during the first decades of the 15th century. While rather much is known about the later Baroque treatment and about interventions done during the 19th century, episodes of interventions done from 1923 to 1925 are almost completely unknown. Iso Kršnjavi, the first Croatian art historian, played a vital role during the restoration of the Šarengrad church in the 1920s, for it had been of particular interest to him as early as during his journey through Slavonia in 1881. Works on church and monastery were initiated by then-guardian Ivan Franković. Based on advice given by Bollé at the end of 1923, he first completely removed one buttress from the church’s front façade while the other one was reduced by 2 meters. He also removed a chamber next to the sacristy and the tower as well as a part of the sacristy vaulting, weakening the structure of the tower. During 1924 he reconstructed the monastery building by transferring the hallway to the western wing; he built a new staircase and outbuildings. Realizing that the monastery funds would not cover all the construction expenses, he attempted to levy a tax on the Roman Catholics of Šarengrad amounting to 116.000 dinars. Even though he had support from the local authorities of Vukovar, he did not succeed because the parishioners sent a letter of protest to the Đakovo bishop Antun Akšamović, who prohibited the levying of taxes. The attempt to prove that the Eltz family that had the parish in its gift and so owed it dues failed as well, and thus the reconstruction of the church and monastery came to a stop due to the impossibility of raising necessary funds. Although a canonical visitation of 1921 had claimed the church was in good condition and that only the roof was partly in need of reconstruction, nevertheless works were started on the main facade in 1923. It is thus clear that that the restoration of the Šarengrad church was mainly aesthetically motivated. It is a striking example of intervention still largely motivated by conceptions of Historicism – however, stylistic purification had not taken place, as in the case of the nearby Franciscan church in Ilok a decade and a half earlier, most likely due to lack of financial means. However, a partial “aestheticisation” of the given situation was performed – parts of the structure estimated to be aesthetically inadequate and evaluated as making the church appear ugly were removed regardless of their constructive role and age.


Šarengrad; Historicism; Herman Bollé; Iso Kršnjavi; Ivan Franković

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