Church of St. Luke (Lučica)


The church of St. Luke, also known as Lady of Lučica is located 3 km to the west from the village Lipovac. The church itself is located in beautiful natural surroundings. Namely, the church and the whole area around it, in the length of 2 km, are situated on an artificially created island which was fully formed by the meandering backwater of the Spačva brook, Luka. It is believed that the collet did not surround the area around Lučica completely, but it was dug up and joined with the river Spačva by the builders of the monastery i.e. church Lučica in order to protect it from possible attacks or pillages.

There is more than one interpretation of the name of the church, but it is most probable that the church was named after Saint Luke, who was astonished with the beauty of the Virgin Mary after he had painted her. The timing of the painting still cannot be defined with certainty, and it is not yet sure if the church was the original building or it was built on already existing foundation. Namely, the visage and visible traces place the church to Gothic style, which means that it was built at the end of 13th century or at the beginning of the 14th century, but there is no coincidence that a part of the building material used in the construction of the church belongs to the stated period.

According to the research of the parish priest Meštrović (at the end of the 19th century) and the existing records, it is possible that Lučica has existed since the Crusade wars, which would put the time of construction between the 11th and 12th century. A proof of that is a Templar monastery next to the Lučica church, and it is well-known that the Templars were at the head of the crusade army. The cross, i.e. its shape which was a sign of recognition of the Templar monastery is still there to prove that. It is single nave church with polygonal apse and characteristic wooden bell-tower. According to information sources, there was a Templar monastery at the location first, and then a Franciscan monastery, which was demolished with the arrival of Turks. It was first renewed in the 19th century and underwent a thorough reconstruction during the time of the Bishop Strossmayer, when Gothic windows and the southern doors were walled in, and when it got the flat roof.

During the Homeland war it was in the front line and received a direct shot in the apse. After the Homeland war, the church was in a very poor condition. The steeple and the roof were much damaged; the eastern wall was pierced by the grenade shell impact. The interior was completely destroyed, both from detonation and from the leaking.  

As it is a culture monument of high value (zero category), the Ministry of Culture started a project of renewal and restauration of the sanctuary of the Lady of Lučica in 2000. On the holiday of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Mary members of cultural-folklore associations from around the whole Syrmia and Slavonia pilgrim here.


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