Bač Castle

Bač Castle



Completed: first half of the 14th century Map

Damaged: 1711 (Rákóczi Rebellion)


Description of Bač Castle

Backa Fortress is a medieval fortress in the north of Serbia in AP Vojvodina. It is located near the town of Bac. The medieval fortress, the best preserved, in the area of ​​Vojvodina, was built on a former island between the Mostonga River and one of its tributaries, in the town of Bac. Bac, the place after which the whole fertile plain between the Danube and the Tisza was named Backa, is located in the west of Vojvodina, in Backa, on the left bank of the Danube, where it borders Croatia. Although the Bac Fortress is not directly positioned on the Danube, it is considered a Danube fortification, as it is located in its catchment area and in its immediate vicinity (Kovjanić, 2003). The first traces of Bac date back to the period of Emperor Justinian I, when the emperor mentioned Bac in his letter from 535. In 873, Bac was an Avar fortress, and during the reign of Arpadović, the royal city and the center of the diocese. In 1241, Bac was destroyed by the Mongols. After that, the Bac Fortress is a military fortification of the once powerful Hungarian rulers. The castle dates back to the period 1338-1342, during the reign of the Hungarian King Karl Robert, and its final form was given only in the 15th century.


The fortress belongs to the so-called water cities, because it was surrounded on all sides by a river, and it was approached by a drawbridge. Extensive work on the reconstruction of the castle was done by Archbishop Petrus de Varda in 1490 - in 1495. He restored the fortress and the city, but also widened the Mostonga River to allow ships from the Danube to reach the fortress. On that occasion, the defense system was strengthened with the addition of elements adapted to artillery warfare, and at the same time the palace near the north tower was added, which had stone sculptures made in the spirit of the early Renaissance. There is an impression that Italian builders and fortifiers worked on the renovation and extension of Bac at the end of the 15th century. The base of the fortification is adapted to the terrain, the shape of an irregular quadrangle with towers at the corners. The wider complex of settlements in the northern part of which was a castle separated by a moat was surrounded by ramparts with palisades and had only a brick gate to the east. The castle is entirely built of bricks, and has a trapezoidal base. In the northwest corner there is a tower with a square base, while the other three towers are circular. In the middle of the southern rampart was a gate from which there are no visible traces. In front of the gate, there was a barrack with a circular base, of which only traces remain. In the interior, to the southeast, there is a well-preserved dungeon tower (Đidić, 2009). Bac with a fortified castle was occupied by the Turks soon after the Battle of Mohács, in 1529. Descriptions of the fortress in the travelogues of Evliya lebelebi also originate from that period, when Bac became a part of the Szeged Sandzak. He was liberated in 1687, but soon after, during the Rakoci revolt in 1703, Bac was burned and partially destroyed. Over time, the Mostonga River dried up, and with it the former significance of the Bačka Fortress disappeared (Vujović, 2010).

Systematic archaeological excavations have been carried out several times since 1958. Extensive conservation works were carried out, and the restoration and arrangement of the defensive tower and the conservation of the entrance gate to the suburbs and the Turkish ham were carried out. It was completely renovated in 1961 and is one of the best achievements of military architecture of the 15th century in the former Hungarian state. Of the castle's residential buildings, only those that relied on the northeastern rampart remain in archeological traces. The well-preserved remains of the chapel, built in the Gothic style, which was built on the floor of the neighboring circular tower, also belong to this complex (Vujović, 2010).

According to the categorization of the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, the Bačka Fortress has been declared a good of exceptional national importance. Today, it is among the most important attractions and is the only preserved monument from the medieval period in Vojvodina. During the archeological excavations in the period 2004-2006, a building along the northeastern rampart, defined as a palace, was explored, as well as a circular cistern in the area between the dungeon tower and the southeastern rampart. The complex is insufficiently researched, and the towers in the upper zones are inaccessible and not safe for research, as a result of which the necessary data on constructions and construction techniques are missing. Significant research and conservation works are yet to come (Vujović, 2008).

Recently, due to its importance in the process of conservation and presentation of the Bac fortress, the development project Centuries of Bac (2006-2010) stands out, within which: research and development of planning documentation for the fortress, conservation, restoration and restoration. vitalization, actions in the direction of tourism promotion and tourism development, as well as defining management strategies. The project resulted from activities on research, conservation, restoration and revitalization of the fortress in Bac, but also the Bodjani monastery, the Franciscan monastery and other cultural monuments in the municipality. The main bearer of the project was the municipality of Bac, and the project was realized through the Centuries of Bac fund, under the auspices of the Secretariat for Education and Culture of AP Vojvodina and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia. The project coordinator was the Provincial Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments (Vujović, 2008).

Carlo Robert built a fortress to prevent pressure from the Serbian Empire on the Hungarian border.

It was built during the reign of the Hungarian King Karl Robert (1310-1342). Then there are eight towers, various chambers of the district governor, walkers, guard quarters, kitchen, well, barn, etc. At that time, Bac became an important military, political, cultural and church seat. In the period after the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the city and the fortress were under Turkish rule. The descriptions of the Bačka Fortress in the travelogues of Evlija Čelebija originate from that period. According to travel writers, the city was dangerous in a wide circle of trenches filled with water.

From the time of Rakocij's revolt (1703—1711) the fortress was burned, destroyed and abandoned. In addition, Bačka Fortress remained the best preserved medieval fortress in Vojvodina. The ruins of the former fortress are still in Bac, the base of which is in the shape of an irregular pentagon.


Today, there are four side and one central tower 18 m high in the ruins, which has been partially reconstructed.

This site has been proposed for the UNESCO list of cultural and natural heritage.