Church of Holy Salvation

Cetina, Croatia

The Church of the Holy Salvation is a Pre-Romanesque church and quite important in Croatia, as it is the only pre-schism church constructed with a bell tower which is still standing.

It was a large stone church for that period. The church is a one-longitudinal-nave structure with a sanctuary consisting of three apses, in the form of a trefoil. Later, the middle apse was pulled down and substituted by a bigger, rectangular one. The church has strong semi-circular buttresses that give a feeling of fortification, emphasized with mighty bell-tower positioned in front of entrance, creating a westwork.

The church was built near Vrlika, called Vrh Rike in the 9th-10th century. It was dated to the time of Duke Branimir of Dalmatian Croatia through comparative analysis of an altar beam with other artefacts carrying Branimir's name by Ivo Petricioli in 1980 and 1984. It is one of the oldest and best preserved larger monuments of the early pre-Romanesque sacral architecture.

The church was built by the local župan (district-prefect) Gastika of Cetina, at the recommendation of Pope Stephen VI, but as a private church, built in memory of his family. The most important is the fragment of a beam with semi-uncial inscriptions from it is known that the church had been dedicated to Christ and built on the order of the prefect Gastika, the son of Nemira.

The graves found near the Church, dated to the 9th through 14th century, had a specific kind of textile that was found to be comparable in quality with 18th and 19th century clothing. There are over 1,026 old Croatian graves around the church of great archaeological interest. Several tombs have been found in the church itself, most of which (more than 800) originally had stećci. The culture of that time was influenced by the Frankish Empire, which was noticed in the archaeological findings from the period and the structure of the church.

In the early 15th century, Hrvoje Vukčić strengthened the Prozor Fortress, and most of the inhabitants moved out of Vrh Rika into Vrlika. The fortress subsequently belonged to Ivaniš Nelipac, Ivan Frankopan and Mihača Nikolin Vitturi. After a 1492 invasion by the Ottoman Empire, the church and the settlement sustained heavy damage and a substantial part of the inhabitants fled to Turopolje.

The Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Dalmatia published a conflicting assessment of the origin of the Holy Salvation, originally published by Mirko Ležaić in 1939 in Belgrade, saying Tvrtko I built it, and that it was destroyed by the Turks in 1512. In 1940, the new church of the Ascension of the Lord was built by Marko Četnik and his wife Jelena.

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Cetina, Croatia
See all sites in Cetina

Details

Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Croatia

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Duje Peričić (2 months ago)
Catolich church not ortodox
Dmytro Nahornyak (3 months ago)
Ortodox Church of Holy Salvation
Dubravka Sutlovic (3 months ago)
Interesting, some very old grave stones.
Zajtai Orsolya (4 months ago)
Worth to visit.
Nepoznati Netko (4 months ago)
This is not a Serbian church. This is an old Croatian Catholic church from the 9th century. Please correct your mistake.
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