Metropolitanate of Karlovci

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Metropolitanate of Karlovci
Карловачка митрополија
Karlovačka mitropolija
Coat of Arms of Metropolitanate of Karlovci
Territory Habsburg Monarchy
Headquarters Karlovci, Habsburg Monarchy (today Sremski Karlovci, Serbia)
Denomination Eastern Orthodox
Sui iuris church Self-governing Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate
Established 1708
Dissolved 1848 (1920)
Language Church Slavonic

The Metropolitanate of Karlovci (Serbian: Карловачка митрополија or Karlovačka mitropolija) was a metropolitanate of the Serbian Orthodox Church that existed between 1708 and 1848 (1920).[1] Between 1708 and 1713 it was known as the Metropolitanate of Krušedol, and between 1713 and 1848 as the Metropolitanate of Karlovci. In 1848, it was transformed into the Patriarchate of Karlovci, which existed until 1920, when it was merged with Metropolitanate of Belgrade and other Serbian church provinces to form the united Serbian Orthodox Church.


During 16th an 17th-century, all of the southern and central parts of the former medieval Kingdom of Hungary were under Turkish rule and organized as Ottoman Hungary. Since 1557, Eastern Orthodox Church in those regions was under jurisdiction of Serbian Patriarchate. During the Austro-Turkish war (1683–1699), much of the central and southern Hungary was liberated and Serbian eparchies in those regions fell under the Habsburg rule. In 1689, Serbian Patriarch Arsenije III sided with Austrians and moved from Peć to Belgrade in 1690, leading the Great Migrations of the Serbs. In that time, large number of Serbs (cca 200 000) migrated to southern and central parts of Hungary.[2][3]

Important privileges were given to them by Emperor Leopold I in three imperial chapters (Diploma Leopoldinum) the first issued on 21 August 1690, the second a year later, on 20 August 1691, and the third on 4 March 1695.[4] Privileges allowed Serbs to keep their Eastern Orthodox faith and church organization headed by archbishop and bishops. In next two centuries of its autonomous existence, autonomous Serbian Church in Habsburg Monarchy was organized on the basis of privileges originally received from the emperor.[5]

Until death in 1706, head of the church was Patriarch Arsenije III who reorganized eparchies and appointed new bishops. He held the Patriarch title until the end of his life. Emperor Joseph I, following the advice of cardinal Leopold Karl von Kollonitsch abolished this title and substituted it for much lower and far less distinguished title of metropolitan. In his decree, Emperor Joseph I stated, "we must make sure that they never elect another Patriarch since it is against the Catholic Church and the doctrine of the Fathers of the Church". All spiritual leaders of the Serbian Orthodox Church will be named after as both metropolitan and archbishop. The only exception from the Imperial decree was the case of later Patriarch Arsenije IV Jovanović Šakabenta who brought his title directly from the historic see of Peć (1737).[6]

After the death of Patriarch Arsenije III (1706), the Serbian Church Council was held in the Monastery of Krušedol in 1708 and proclaimed Krušedol to be the official cathedral seat of the newly elected Metropolitan Isaija Đaković, while all administrative activities were moved to the nearby city of Sremski Karlovci. The monastery of Krušedol was bequest of the Serbian ducal family of Branković in the beginning of 16th century, which was the main historical and national reasons for the Serbs to have this town as their Church capital.

Between 1708 and 1713, the seat of the Metropolitanate was in the monastery of Krušedol, and in 1713 it was moved to Karlovci (today Sremski Karlovci, Serbia). The new archbishop Vićentije Popović moved all administration from Krušedol to Karlovci in 1713. So, the new capital of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Habsburg Monarchy became Sremski Karlovci which was confirmed by the seal of Imperial approval in the charter of Emperor Charles VI issued in October the same year.

During the next Austro-Turkish War (1716-1718), Belgrade was liberated from Ottoman rule and became the seat of the second metropolitanate of Orthodox Serbs in Habsburg Monarchy, known as the Metropolitanate of Belgrade, headed by metropolitan Mojsije Petrović. New autonomous Metropolitanate of Belgrade had jurisdiction over Kingdom of Serbia and Temes Banat. Its creation was approved by Serbian Patriarch Mojsije I Rajović. Shortly after, two metropolitanates merged in 1726 and by the imperial decree of Charles VI, the administrative capital of Serbian Orthodox Church was moved from Sremski Karlovci to Belgrade in 1731. It lasted only eight years until Belgrade fell again to Ottomans in the autumn on 1739.[6]

By the abolishment of Serbian Patriarchate in 1766 the Metropolitanate of Karlovci became the fully independent center of Eastern Orthodoxy in the Habsburg Monarchy, with seven suffragan bishops (Bačka, Vršac, Temišvar, Arad, Buda, Pakrac and Upper Karlovac).[7]

The position of Serbs and their Church in Austria and Hungary was regulated in reforms brought about first by empress Maria Theresa and later by emperor Joseph II. The Serbian Church-Public Council of 1769 regulated its status in a special paper named "Regulament" and, later, in "Deklaratorij" published in 1779.[5]

Serbian metropolitans of Sremski Karlovci promoted the Enlightenment by introducing western education in the schools established in Sremski Karlovci (1733) then in Novi Sad (1737). In order to counter the Roman Catholic influence, the school curricula was exposed to Russian Church and culture. As early as in 1724 the Holy Synod of Russian Orthodox Church sent M. Svivorov to open a school in Sremski Karlovci, which graduates were thereof passed on to Kievan seminary, and the more gifted to the Academy in Kiev.[8] The Church liturgical language became Russian Slavonic, called Church Slavonic. On another hand, baroque influence became visible in the church architecture, iconography, literature and theology.[9]

During the eighteenth century the Metropolitanate maintained close connections with Kiev and the Russian Orthodox Church. Many Serbian theological students were educated in Kiev. A Seminary was open in 1794 which educated Orthodox priests during the nineteenth century for the needs of the Karlovci Metropolitanate and beyond.[5]

In the second half of the 18th century, the Metropolitanate of Karlovci included a large territory that stretched from the Adriatic Sea to Bukovina and from Danube and Sava to Upper Hungary. The Metropolitanate had a jurisdiction over Orthodox Serbs, Romanians, Greeks and Cincars that lived in the Habsburg Monarchy.

Eparchies under direct or spiritual jurisdiction of Karlovci[edit]

It included following eparchies:

Eparchy Seat Notes
Eparchy of Arad Arad
Eparchy of Bačka Novi Sad Bačka
Eparchy of Belgrade Belgrade (Beograd) (1726–1739)
Eparchy of Buda Szentendre (Sentandreja)
Eparchy of Gornji Karlovac Karlovac
Eparchy of Kostajnica Kostajnica (1713–1771)
Eparchy of Lepavina Lepavina (1733–1750)
Eparchy of Mohács Mohács (Mohač) (until 1732)
Eparchy of Pakrac Pakrac Now Eparchy of Slavonia
Eparchy of Râmnicu Râmnicu Vâlcea (Rimnik) (1726–1739)
Eparchy of Srem Sremski Karlovci Syrmia
Eparchy of Temišvar Timişoara (Temišvar) Banat
Eparchy of Valjevo Valjevo (1726–1739)
Eparchy of Vršac Vršac Banat
Eparchy of Transilvania Sibiu (Sibinj) Spiritual jurisdiction only
Eparchy of Bukovina Chernivtsi (Černovci) Spiritual jurisdiction only
Eparchy of Dalmatia Šibenik Spiritual jurisdiction only

Heads of Serbian Orthodox Church in Habsburg Monarchy, 1690–1848[edit]

No. Primate Portrait Personal name Reign Title Notes
1 Arsenije III
Арсеније III
Arsenius III
Arsenije III.jpg Arsenije Čarnojević
Арсеније Чарнојевић
1690–1706 Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch Leader of the First Serbian Migration
2 Isaija I
Исаија I
Isaias I
No image.png Isaija Đaković
Исаија Ђаковић
1708 Metropolitan of Krušedol
3 Sofronije
No image.png Sofronije Podgoričanin
Софроније Подгоричанин
1710–1711 Metropolitan of Krušedol
4 Vikentije I
Викентије I
Vicentius I
No image.png Vikentije Popović-Hadžilavić
Викентије Поповић-Хаџилавић
1713–1725 Metropolitan of Karlovci
5 Mojsije I
Мојсије I
Moses I
No image.png Mojsije Petrović
Мојсије Петровић
1726–1730 Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci
6 Vikentije II
Викентије II
Vicentius II
Vikentije Jovanović.jpg Vikentije Jovanović
Викентије Јовановић
1731–1737 Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci
7 Arsenije IV
Арсеније IV
Arsenius IV
Arsenije IV Jovanović Šakabenta.jpg Arsenije Jovanović Šakabenta
Арсеније Јовановић Шакабента
1737–1748 Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch Leader of the Second Serbian Migration
8 Isaija II
Исаија II
Isaias II
No image.png Jovan Antonović
Јован Антоновић
1748–1749 Metropolitan of Karlovci
9 Pavle
Pavle Nenadović.jpg Pavle Nenadović
Павле Ненадовић
1749–1768 Metropolitan of Karlovci
10 Jovan
No image.png Jovan Đorđević
Јован Ђорђевић
1768–1773 Metropolitan of Karlovci
11 Vićentije III
Вићентије III
Vicentius III
No image.png Vićentije Jovanović Vidak
Вићентије Јовановић Видак
1774–1780 Metropolitan of Karlovci
12 Mojsije II
Мојсије II
Moses II
Mojsej Putnik.jpg Mojsije Putnik
Мојсије Путник
1781–1790 Metropolitan of Karlovci
13 Stefan I
Стефан I
Stephen I
Mitropolit 1.jpg Stefan Stratimirović
Стефан Стратимировић
1790–1836 Metropolitan of Karlovci
14 Stefan II
Стефан II
Stephen II
No image.png Stefan Stanković
Стефан Станковић
1836–1841 Metropolitan of Karlovci
15 Josif
Патријарх српски Јосиф.jpg Ilija Rajačić
Илија Рајачић
1842–1848 Metropolitan of Karlovci Elevated to Patriarch

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Volume 2 by John Anthony McGuckin, Wiley, Feb 8, 2011 page 564
    "The Serbian Church organization in the Habsburg monarchy was centered on the metropolitan of (Sremski) Karlovac, which in 1710 the patriarch of Peć, Kalinik I, recognized as autonomous."
  2. ^ Pavlović 2002, pp. 19-20.
  3. ^ Ćirković 2008, pp. 144, 244.
  4. ^ Plamen Mitev(editor): Empires and Peninsulas: Southeastern Europe Between Karlowitz and the Peace of Adrianople, 1699 - 1829, LIT Verlag Münster, 2010 page 257
  5. ^ a b c Mario Katic, Tomislav Klarin, Mike McDonald: Pilgrimage and Sacred Places in Southeast Europe: History, Religious Tourism and Contemporary Trends, LIT Verlag Münster, Oct 1, 2014 page 207
  6. ^ a b Jelena Todorovic: An Orthodox Festival Book in the Habsburg Empire: Zaharija Orfelin's Festive Greeting to Mojsej Putnik (1757), Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006 pages 12-13
  7. ^ Bojan Aleksov: Religious Dissent Between the Modern and the National: Nazarenes in Hungary and Serbia 1850-1914, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 2006 page 33
  8. ^ Aidan Nichols: Theology in the Russian Diaspora: Church, Fathers, Eucharist in Nikolai Afanasʹev (1893-1966), CUP Archive, 1989 page 49
  9. ^ Augustine Casiday: The Orthodox Christian World, Routledge, Aug 21, 2012 page 135


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  • Točanac Radović, Isidora B. (2014). "Реформа Српске православне цркве у Хабзбуршкој монархији за време владавине Марије Терезије и Јосифа II : (1740-1790)". University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy. 
  • Radović, Isidora Točanac. "Београдска и Карловачка митрополија. Процес уједињења (1722-1731)." Историјски часопис 55 (2007): 201-217.
  • Vasić, Katarina. "Портрет српских архијереја у Карловачкој митрополији:(1690-1790)." (2013).
  • Radašin, Vladimir. Srpska autonomna školska uprava u Karlovačkoj mitropoliji: 1867-1912. Matica srpska, 1987.
  • Davidov, Dinko, ed. Znamenja Karlovačke mitropolije. Galerija Srpske Akademije Nauka i Umetnosti, 2007.
  • Vojnović, Žarko 2014, "Počeci beleženja manastirskih biblioteka Karlovačke mitropolije", Čitalište, vol. 13, no. 24, pp. 38-45.
  • Živko M. Marinković - Jevrem Igumanović, Istorija opštehrišćanske i Srpske pravoslavne crkve sa hronologijom, Banja Luka - Beograd, 2002.
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External links[edit]