10 Aug The Ruined Church in Vojvodina
A 13th-century Romanesque holy site now in ruins, the lonely Araca church is still as dominant as ever, as it presides over its surrounding plains. Demolished by the Ottomans in 1551, Araca is one Vojvodina’s great structures and has remained the same since its mid-16th century demise.
Araca is located just 12 km from Novo Milesevo in Serbia’s north-east and is just over 1.5 hours away from Novi Sad. The Slano Kopovo special nature reserve is nearby as well and so is the Tisa river, with the latter being home to the annual blooming of the mayfly. If you’re interested in learning more about the Araca, then you may visit the Association for protecting the Araca, located nearby as well.
The church’s origins can be traced back to the early-13th century. Araca was built upon the foundations of an 11th-century church in 1230, while much of Northern Serbia was under Hungarian rule. Vandals and pillagers robbed and damaged the church in 1280, which was finally completely restored in 1370, during which time the church’s Gothic tower was introduced. Thereafter, the Ottomans demolished Araca in 1551, since when it has remain untouched, resulting in what can be seen today.
You are immediately greeted by the church’s tall red brick walls as you make your approach. Massive arches, gray sandstone pillars, windows, and the tall Gothic-style tower are all the remain of this 13th-century holy site. The surrounding area is mainly flat and is home to herds of deer as well as the occasional rabbit.
Tips & Essentials:
Visit during the second half of June, during which time the annual bloom of the Tisa river occurs. This event is a natural phenomenon where the local mayfly population comes to life after having spent three years on the river bed.
The Medieval Araca Festival is held annually on the 16th and 17th of June, which coincides with the blooming of the Tisa river.
Bring some photography gear. Low light pollution means that astrophotography opportunities are at there best here, as no major towns are nearby. The structure also naturally lends itself for some great photos.
How to get to the Ruined Cathedral:
With multiple buses travelling between the two destinations , the best way to get to Araca is from Novi Sad via Novi Becej. Following your trip to Novi Becej take a bus to Novo Milesevo and ask the bus driver to let you out at the 12th kilometre.
You’ve got about 10 km of walking to do once you get off the bus, at which point you will see a road crossing some train tracks. Follow the road, as it passes by the abandoned “Crna Bara” train station. The road then goes on to disappear into a small forest at which point you will have to make your way through some orchards.
Make your way through the orchards for about 6 km. You will see the ruined church over the horizon once you reach the end.