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Novi Bečej, Serbia

Arača

Despite being pillaged and destroyed a number over times down the centuries, this historic church still sort of stands. 

Sitting in a grassy Serbian field are the ruins of Arača, a 13th century Romanesque church which was once surrounded by an entire village, but after repeated razing across the hundreds of years of its existence now stands hauntingly in the middle of corn fields, with birds nesting in the old walls.

It was built in the early 1200s, the ornate Roman-styled church was robbed later on in the century only to be reconstructed in 1370 at the behest of Queen Elizabeth of Slavonia, a member of the Hungarian branch of the Capetian house of Anjou. During the reconstruction a gothic tower was added to the church giving it a slightly mixed architectural style.

Later on the church fell into the hands of a series of Serbian despots until it was finally burned to near non-existence by the Ottomans in 1551. After this final act of destruction, the church never recovered, but never disappeared either.  

Today the church sits in Serbian territory and is protected by the state. Visitors are welcome to come and see the ruins, but damaging them or contributing to their further deterioration in any way is prohibited.