As we get closer to the Memorial Church of the Ascencion of Lord in Krupanj, the most impressive building in this city, we feel the complexity, the deep history carved into the Balkans, Serbia, Krupanj… Beneath all the smiles, beneath all nature, all freshness and joy, beneath the beautiful green landscape – there is a lot of history, there are many untold stories, many revolutions, accidents, tragedies…
This imposing stone building, on which staircase children are forever sitting and cheerfully planning mischiefs and bicycle expeditions into the surrounding hills, was consecrated in 1932, in memory of the victims of the First World War, in the Battle of Mačak’s Stone in 1914. In the crypt of the church there is an ossuary containing the remains of the dead soldiers. Not only soldiers of the Serbian army, but also of the Austro-Hungarian army, all those who died on the deadly mountain.
At that summit, on the top of the nearby Jagodnja Mountain, 1,200 Austro-Hungarian soldiers died, under the command of legendary General Oscar Potiorek, who, only 3 months before, escaped the bullet that Gavrilo Princip shot at him in Sarajevo. Also, 800 Serbian soldiers died there, under the leadership of duke Stepa Stepanović and general Pavle Jurishic Sturm. There are 12 marble slabs in the church, where the names of those killed are written.
A rare thing, indeed: the Serbs here worship the bones of their ancestors who fell in the struggle for freedom, but also the bones of their enemies …
Momir Korunovic, architect of the church, received instructions that the building should look exactly like the monastery church of St. George, built by Serbian king Milutin in the 14th century.
In the ossuary, above which is inscribed “The Fairies will struggle through centuries to weave the wreaths worthy of you”, there are photographs from the battlefield, wreaths, monuments… One of the greatest Serbian writers, Veljko Petrović, wrote his “Sprouts from the burned bush”, a work in which in 1932 he described the heroism of the fighters in the Mačak Stone battle.
This article is a part of the project “Seven miracles of Krupanj”, supported by the Krupanj Municipality. Positions of the supported media project do not necessarily reflect statements of the organ supporting the project.
(Come to Serbia)