ABOUT THE WHITE CROSS

The remains of the cross that was placed where the settlers’ flag was put in 1751 (since 1953, there is the monument to Jovan Popović) are now in the immediate surroundings of Serbian Orthodox Church, in the town center. The cross was probably put there in the late 18th or the early 19th century. Crosses like that once had the central place in almost every town of Southern Hungary, as a symbol of the craftsman class. The cross was carved from a single peace of stone and put on top of a pedestal. The pedestal was made of brick in four cuboids, which were covered with large stone blocks in pink interspersed with white, lavishly decorated with details carved in stone and icons on tin plates, which depict crafts and patron saints of particular crafts.

The multi-colored stone probably originates from Hungary, from the brinks of the Carpathians. That type of stone has limited durability outdoors. The flow of time and fungi that emerged on the surface of the stone leaves the impression that the whole composition, and especially the cross, is white. That’s why it is known as “the White Cross”. It was never white, which is confirmed by its broken parts and the stone blocks that were taken off it). The making and the placement of the cross were paid by the craftsman class of Kikinda. Baroque fence made of forged iron, that was placed around the cross, where it first stood, hasn’t been moved with the cross (its whereabouts are unknown). The Cross is a symbol in itself.

Placed in the town center, the place of all important events in the town, it was easily recognizable to anyone stepping onto the town square. Its traits are special in every way: architecturally, culturally, ideologically, historically, and psychologically. It is the reflection of the spirit of the town and its inhabitants from that period. It speaks for them and is therefore still significant.

In 1983, when the town square and the pedestrian area were planned out, the cross was left where it had been since 1953, but its surroundings were rearranged. As a part of the new conception of the square, it was placed next to St. Nicolas’s Church, in a protected spatial, cultural and historical whole, where its beauty and function came to prominence. “It is under the state’s protection, just as St. Nicolas’s Church. It is a cultural resource of immense importance and it enjoys the highest protection.” (Cultural Heritage Preservation Institute, Subotica, no. 511 – 2/8 from 06/24/2008). However, there is only a bare brick pedestal next to St. Nicolas’s Church. In stead of being revived and protected from deterioration, it was dismantled and taken away in the autumn of 2007. That is why there is only the bare pedestal there now. Is that a way to treat protected cultural resources?


You can read more about “the White Cross” in the next edition of the ATTENDITE magazine, due for early 2010.

A postcard from 1910

A photograph from 2005

A photograph from the spring of 2007

“The White Cross” today


The details of the pink stone covering

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