Home News Forgetten guard over Foča testifies of lasting of Serb people (Photo)

Forgetten guard over Foča testifies of lasting of Serb people (Photo)


In the old Orthodox cemetery above the Church of St. Nicholas in the former Srpska Varoš in Foča, tombstones have emerged from the thorns, thickets and deposits of earth, after recent cleaning, which, in addition to testifying to the lasting of the Serbs in Foča through centuries under various conquerors, have great cultural-historical and artistic value.

Located on a steep hill, the more than two-century-old cemetery seems to be watching over Foča. Its artistic value was already pointed out in 1955 by the famous art historian Alija Bejtić in his work “History and Art of Foča on the Drina”.

The older crosses have an interesting stonework decor giving a value to the entire necropolis, wrote Bejtić, sketching several unusual decorations.

Given that many tombstones have sunk into the ground, as well as the fact that inscriptions are not visible on many of them, it is not excluded that the cemetery is even older than the 18th century, so only a more detailed archaeological investigation would determine when it originated from.

Dejan Vuković, who lives nearby, says that until the last war the cemetery was maintained as a park, and that he participated in the maintenance with his late father, so he was always interested in the fate of the families whose graves are there.

A lot can be learned from the tombstones, he notes, among other things, that the people of Foča were being killed in the battle with the Turks, what their occupations were, from which regions certain families immigrated…

The occupations of the deceased or those who erect the tombstone are often written on them, which testify to the education of the then residents of Foča.

Vuković points out that the old cemetery should be preserved as a great treasure.

“The cemetery has both cultural-historical and environmental significance. Without the maintenance of grave sites and without the maintenance of the cult of ancestors and the memory of the glorious past, I do not know what kind of future we can hope for. I am glad that a cleaning action was organised, which should be continued, the cemetery should be fenced, so that it remains as a witness of some time and the continuity and lasting of the Serb people in this city,” emphasizes Vuković.

The former Srpska Varoš is in a steep part of the city far from the centre, where Serbs were allowed to live during the Turks domination.

“I constantly wondered why the Turks allowed Srpska Varoš to be built, and I came to the conclusion that there is no worse microlocation and land disposition than this one, because it is in the shade, the sun warms from eight in the morning to three in the afternoon, and there are also ravines. During the time of the Turks, the forest was cut down, so there were constant floods, this was literally like being hanged, but as our people are resistant and strong, having no choice, hardened in some kind of their constancy and struggle for survival, our ancestors built houses, survived and remained to this day,” Vujković points out.

He points out that the hill at the crossing from the neighboring district of Ćerezluk to Srpska Varoš was called Moskovo, which is no coincidence because during the time of the Turks, Orthodox people were called Moskov.

It can be assumed that in the second half of the 19th century, as the Turkish grip loosened, especially after the construction of the church in 1857, the border of Srpska Varoša got closer to Foča, while the Serbs could settle in the city itself only after the arrival of the Austro-Hungarians in 1878.

“As long as there are stories about Srpska Varoš, there will also be stories about old Foča, about old families from Foča, who left a big mark on the history of this city,” Vuković points out.

Source: srna.rs


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