Aracha Basilica ruins

Aracha Basilica ruins

Monumental ruins of the Church of Saint archangel Michael in Arača Benedictine Medieval Abbey are located in Vojvodina, 14 km northeast of Novi Bečej, on Tisa River, close to Novo Miloševo village /former Beodra/, surrounded with fertile fields. Arača is monument of culture of first category and the only one of that significance and historical period in the area of Vojvodina.

According to the archaeologic research we learn that the area of the present day Arača and close surroundings were inhabited in prehistory – New Stone Age and of settlement existence in the early Middle ages. The Romanesque basilica of the church of Saint archangel Michael in Araca was established by unknown Hungarian landlord around 1230 on the foundations of an earlier church, probably from the 11th century. It was a monumental three-nave basilica with three semicircular altar apses – the back round part of the church, which was vaulted with arches and semi collumns. The Aracha Basilica has been built of bricks and cut stone – sandstone and marble. After devastation in wars and invasions of Cumans and Mongols, the Aracha church was rebuilt around 1370 by the Hungarian Queen Jelisaveta, daughter of Stevan II Kotromanič, when a Gothic belfry was added and probably some more stone sculptural decorations. A defence fortress was raised in the late Middle ages, which today does not exist, but further excavations might document its traces. Fortification of Araci was in 1417 possessed by the Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević, and later by Despot Đurađ Branković. Ottomans, led by Sultan Mehmed-Paša Sokolović in their invasion of the Banat area in 1551 have conquered and burnt to the ground the church of Saint archangel Michael. After this demolition of Arača Basilica it gradually decayed until the 19th century, when it came into possession of the Karačonji Family of Beodra and had experienced small conservation works by the Hungarian Board for preservation of cultural monuments. Stone decoration and building material of the church of Saint archangel Michael in Aracha has been mercilessly taken away to surrounding places, while some its parts are found in some museums.

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