Slavonski Brod Fortress
Slavonski Brod, Slavonia, Croatia
Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt (1668–1745)
According to plans adopted in 1715, the fortress seemed to take the form of fortresses from an earlier period initially, differing from them only in size. The large size was the result of adopting the quadrant-style of the existing settlement. This originally square fortress was modernised in 1729 by the Swiss architect, Nicolaus Doxat de Demoret the main architect of all Border towns including Vauban in Austria, who transformed it into an impressive star-shaped fortress. After defeat by Turkey (1737–1739), the death of Emperor Charles VI and the subsequent change in historical circumstances during the early reign of Empress Maria Theresia, the military border became the main residence of army personnel in preparation for the battlefield. The military commander of Slavonia, General Ascanio de Guadagni – a Florentine in the Imperial service and later Marshall and Governor of Tyrol – muted his proposals for the construction of a church at Slavonski Brod in 1739. On his initiative, in 1742, the Court Council of War decided to construct a Military Church at Slavonski Brod.
Constructed under Prince Eugene of Savoy as Chairman of the Court Council of War, Slavonski Brod Fortress belongs to the west wing of a large system of Baroque fortress-towns constructed at the Danube node on the border with the Turkish empire. Although the system represents the central and most interesting chapter in the development of fortification architecture and urbanism of Baroque fortress towns in the first half of the 18th century, it has to date been insufficiently studied. Construction works by Prince Eugene of Savoy for his own purposes hold a high position in the history of architecture. Through his construction activities, Prince Eugene of Savoy intended to retain the acquired power of the Empire, and although the Prince contributed much to the architectural heritage of the period, his contribution remained hidden to his biographers despite numerous documents – particularly plans and project notes for fortress-towns – kept in Vienna and a number of other European archives.
Slavonski Brod Fortress, constructed on the banks of the River Sava a key crossing towards Bosnia, is unique in that it was an independent fortress constructed and connected to an existing settlement. In contrast, Osijek and Petrovaradin (as well as later fortress-towns such as Temeswar, Belgrade and Carlsburg constructed to further strengthen the defence system), were existing urban structures that were transformed into Baroque fortress-towns through the construction of fortifications and radical transformation.
The fortress, constructed between 1691 and 1731, was one of the fortress-towns built under the leadership of Prince Eugen of Savoy. According to recent research, the octagonal church of St. Anne erected in the central square in 1743, belonged to a characteristic type developed by Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt.
By information from archival sources.
A regular star-shaped fortress (1691-1731) with the church of St. Anne (1743)
in the middle. Placed at the centre of the Fortress, the pavilion style church was designed to stand over an independent tabernacle-altar situated at its centre.
Built of clay, brick, wood and some stone, the fortress complex was designed to accommodate 4,000 soldiers and 150 cannons.
Uzelac, Z., “The Church of St Anne of Brod Fort in Slavonski Brod – a work of Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt of 1743” in Radovi institute za povijest umjetnosti 28, 2004, pp. 188–207.
Zlatko Uzelac "Slavonski Brod Fortress" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2024. https://baroqueart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monument;BAR;hr;Mon11;14;en
Prepared by: Zlatko UzelacZlatko Uzelac
AFFILIATION: Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences, Zagreb
TITLE: Urban Planner, Art Historian
Zlatko Uzelac graduated in 1983 Art History (BA) from the Faculty of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary study of Urban Planning from the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb. From 1983 to 1985 he was curator at the City Museum in Požega; from 1985 to 1987 he was employed as an urban planner, and from 1987 to 1990, a Conservator in Belgrade. From 1991, Zlatko was a researcher at the Institute of Art History. From 2000 he was Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection. One of his primary concerns is the history and theory of urbanism.
Translation by: Graham McMaster
Translation copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez
Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.
True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.
MWNF Working Number: HR 16
On display in
Discover Baroque Art Exhibition(s)The Ascension of the Bourgeoisie | The Bourgeois Gentleman Languages of Baroque | Baroque architectural rhetoric and urban structures
DownloadAs PDF (including images) As Word (text only)