Hrvace - The Parish of Ali the Saints


The parish of Ali the Saints in Hrvace is situ-ated in southern Croatia. It occupies the north-vvestern part of the Split Countv of Dalmatia the region of the river Cetina "...a beautiful region" (Alberto Fortis). It is bounded by the high mountain ranges of Dinara (1913 m) and Svilaja (1509 m). The parish of Hrvace forms the villages Hrvace and Rumin with accessory cadastral land area of 34000 m2, bordering on the parishes of Our Lady of Sinj, Zelovo, Potravlje, Bitelić and Bajagić.

The road Split-Sinj-Knin-Zagreb runs along the middle part of the parish.

The natural beauties of the parish are extraordinary: wavy hills growing into high mountains, then the fascinating Hrvace field with the area of 19 km2, crisscrossed by the streams Krupa, Žužin Vrilo, and the little river Voj-skova, the pearl and jewel of Hrvace, then by the Šajan and Jejevac, and also by the two magnificent lakes, Miloševo and Stipančevo, near Krinj, which appear like two blue eyes on the earth's face; and there are also the streams Veliki Rumin and Mali Rumin. Ali these waters, streams, little rivers, lakes and springs flow into the river Cetina, that queen of waters of Central Dalmatia.

The parish of Hrvace is one of the richest in vvaters and springs; it has 52 springs, 12 of wich run dry in summer. Hrvace basin falls under the category of protected landscapes, since its scenery and geomorphology are interesting; also, its hydrology is specially interesting and characteristic for this region. It's marvellous nature and many people have noticed the beauty of countryside. We can pick out two of them. Dr. Vjekoslav Klajić wrote on 29th of June 1868.: "We went to the fascinating field of Hrvace, which stretched northward of Sinj...''; while dr. Ivan Bašić, professor of biology, said: "the village Hrvace is one of the most beautiful villages in Croatia, its beauties and its location are unique and magnificent".

On this soil various peoples and rulers have lived and ruled. The oldest traces of prehistoric man on this territory come from the New Stone Age or Neolitic (7000-2500 BC). The evidence of this are two caves: Tamnica cave and Stipanovića cave (or Water cave).

Then follovvs the age of copper and bronze (2500-800 BC). The traces from that age are around Veliki Rumin and Velika Kekezova Gomila.

During the Iron Age (800 BC - 9 AD) Ilh/rian tribes (the Delmati, the Liburni...) lived here. The Romans succeeded in defeating tee Illyr-ians after 160 years. From the Roman period there are several tombstones, the remains of Roman aqueduct, which passed through Hrvace toward Aequum, then an inscription dedicated to Roman emperor Aurelianus (270 - 275 AD), built into the house of Mate Lovrić near Mali Rumin.

The Croats settled here at the time of the great movement of the peoples, i.e. the Croats čame as settlers from 7th to 8 th century. There they accepted Christian faith and lived in the coun-ty of Cetina and the diocese of Split (formerly the diocese of Solin). The Croats were first ruled by Croatian princes and kings, and then, in the Middle Ages, by Croatian peers: Šubići, Nelipići, Frankopani...

Turkish forces conquered Sinj in 1513 or in 1536. After the fali of Klis in 1537, the region of the Cetina river and Hrvace too, were under the Osmanli rule until 1686. It was very hard for the population to live under the Muslim rule. It is certain that many people fled from this area, but some of them stayed on. The Turks brought along their fellow countrymen to this place. In Hrvace, as witnessed by defter from 1604, they organized their kasa­ba (samll town), built a mosque and had their imams (priests) and muezzins (the officials who called the faithful for prayer from the minaret). There were 59 married and 31 sin-gle religious officials. The richest estate owners were mainly Muslim aghas. During the 150 years of Osmanly power in ali the places, ali Christian religious buildings were pulled down: churches, chapels and graveyards. The whole region and Hrvace were liberated from the Mus­lim power in 1686. Franciscans of the Province of Argentina Bosnia started bringing along a large number of Christians to the region and thus in-habited this fertile soil. Since then several rulers ruled here: Venetians from 1686 - 1797, Austrians (Austro-Hungarian monarchy) from 1797-1918, with a short break when the French ruled. During this period many things were renovated and built, like churches, roads, etc.

But foreigners continued to rule over Croat­ia, and over our place too, from 1918-1941 Croatia became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). The Croats were under the Serbian hegemony. For a short time people were happy in their Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945), but from that period until as late as 1990 the Serbs ruled over this territory in the new communist Yugoslavia. Communists sent their opponents to prisons and killed them. They passionately persecuted the Cath-olic Church, the clergy and the faithful. It should be mentioned that, only from among our Franciscan Province of the Most Holy Redeemer with the seat in Split, 44 Franciscans were killed.

In Homeland War (1991-1995), the Croats de-feated the enemy under the leadership of their president dr. Franjo Tuđman and established the Republic of Croatia. Thanks God for his gift, the gift of freedom and the state! There are problems now too, as everywhere in the world, but evervthing is easier when one is in his own country. In what manner we worked out what kind of power we elect, such our future will be!

The middle of the parish is an elevation, the Church Hill, which offers a magnificent view of the whole parish and of a part of the re­gion of Sinj. Here was the first church - an early-Croatian church - the remains of which are in the Museum of Croatian Archeological Monuments in Split. The Turks destroved the church when they occupied the Cetina region. The second church was rebuilt by he faithful as early as in 1886 as soon as they were liberated from the Islamic power. The third, present, church was built by the faith­ful in 1871 under the leadership of their hard-vvorking parish priest fr Mate Vezilić. There are five altars in ti. The most precious things that the church has are two paintings, the picture of our Lady of Sorrow (The Holly Lady of Hrvace), which come from school of Kar­lo Dolci of the end of 18th century, and the picture of Ali Saints, painted by Francesco Maggioto in 1790. These paintings are the most beautiful decoration of the church. The parish of Hrvace was for a long time a Curacy (a part of the parish of Our Lady of Sinj), governed by the Franciscans of the monastery in Sinj since 1757 there have been 48 parish priests in Hrvace until now. 24 of them come from the parish, 13 of which died and 11 still living. There have been 37 nuns of various orders. 10 of them died, while there are 27 of them living. The old gravevard is by the church while the new gravevard with a new mortuary is about 200m to the south. A new parish house was built in 1991 between the church and the new graveyard.

According to the parish registers, in the pe­riod between 1818 - 2001 in the parish of Hrvace 10703 persons were baptized, 6861 died, 2485 were married.

32 people were killed in the First World War, 165 people were killed in the Second World War, while in the Liberation War 6 people were killed. Ali together 203 people.

According to censuses, in 1857 there were 1286 inhabitants in Hrvace, in 1900 there were 1784 inhabitants, in 1921 there were 2137, in 1948 there were 2250, in 1981 there were 2402, in 1991 there were 2082 and in 2001 there were 1857 inhabitants.

The population of Hrvace also immigrated to foreign countries: Austrlia (56-151), South America (15-60), North America (16-74), and to European countries (75-267); all together 162 families with 552 members. Today there are 60 family names of Hrvace origin.

In this Monograph you can also learn about the customs of Hrvace, the school in Hrvace and about the people of Hrvace (in the place itself and around the world, highly educated, as far as we could get to know). We should point out the most famous persons from Hrvace: Ivan Galić, promoter of modern arts in Split; Stjepan Radan, Croatian folk-writer; fra Jerko Lovrić, provincial of the Franciscan Prov­ince of the Holy Redeemer with the seat in Split; and we have to mention our priests-martyrs: fra Petar Paviša, fra Stanko Bradarić and don Ivan Šarić. You can also find some proverbs and jokes in the Monograph; you can read about sport and economy in Hrvace, about the alkars (tilters of the ring) from Hrvace etc.

This book has been written in memory of the Great Jubilee of Christianity, 2000 anniversarv, and in memory of 520 anniversary (1480-2000) of the first known written document where the name of Hrvace - Hrowacza - was mentioned - July 25 th 1480 in Budim (Budapest), in the charter of the Croatio-Hungarian king Matthias Korvin in the epistles of Poljica Republic (see the figure on the page 49).

To ali Croatian emigrants from Hrvace and to all their descendants in Europe and overseas we wish peace, joy, God's blessing and all the good from our Lord, Jesus Christ.





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