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LITTLE TOWN OF DEBRC WAS ONCE A CAPITAL OF THE SERBIAN KINGDOM: The Church of Emperor Constantine today adorns this peaceful place

As you pass through Debrc, a quiet place near the town of Vladimirci, Debrc, a village of barely 700 people, it’s hard to imagine that here, in the middle of the Macvan Plain, this used to be the capital of the Srem kingdom, the medieval Serbian state, headed by the powerful Serbian ruler Stefan Dragutin Nemanjic, grandson the first Serbian king, Stefan Nemanjic.

Everything is slowed down now: in the morning, at 8 o’clock, there are no people on the streets, and sometimes a certain car passes here. Curious views follow us as we approach the most impressive building in the village, the only one that may be able to suggest thinking about Debrc as a once famous seat of the famous state.

The beautiful, clean and well preserved church immediately comes to the eyes of everybody who passes by: it was completed in 1942, and belongs to the Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Sabac.

It is dedicated to the Roman Emperor Constantine and his mother, and was built in the memorial of Stepan Dragutin, who had small Debrc forever written in the history of Serbia, Europe and the world.

The fate of Debrc is exactly like the fate of Serbia: a magnificent and glorious Middle Ages, and then almost 6 centuries of darkness and oblivion under the rule of the Ottomans, and then the re-establishment of the state and the national spirit, at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, 6 centuries is very time-consuming, and today in Debrc there is only this church, and the monastery of King Dragutin and his church of the Pokajnica, who once ruled his capital, exist only in historical writings and some already forgotten legends.

This is the place, Debrc, symbol of the great rise of the Serbian medieval state, since in 1267 Stefan Dragutin placed his son Stefan Dragutin on the Throne, which led to the great expansion of the Serbian state, which became a major force of medieval Eastern Europe later on.

Otherwise, the temple of the Holy Emperor Constantine and his mother Empress Jelena began to be built in 1937, and the initiator of the construction was Colonel Colonel Voja Todorovic, the commander of the military district in Sabac. The land was donated.

Unfortunately, in 1939, Voja died suddenly, and the church remained incomplete. Who knows if she would ever be finished if one time from Belgrade for Sabac traveled Dr. Viktor Šipotovski, Russian doctor from Belgrade.

When he saw the unfinished church, he began to collect contributions to complete it.

Thanks to him, the church was completed in 1942 and was ceremonially sanctified on Petrovdan during the German occupation.

The farmers from Debrc and the surrounding area took part in the construction with the altruistic help of people from all over Serbia.

Viktor Šipotovski was killed in the civil war in 1944, and his body rests at the cemetery in Debrc.

The church was built in the Serbian-Byzantine style and is located next to the road at the very entrance to Debrc, from the turning point.

This article is a part of the project “Seven miracles of Vladimirci”, supported by the Vladimirci Municipality. Positions of the supported media project do not necessarily reflect statements of the organ supporting the project. 

(Come to Serbia)

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