Comparative ground-plan analysis of Pauline monasteries in Late Medieval Slavonia

Tajana Pleše

The latter half of the thirteenth century in the territory of Slavonia was defined by a turbulent political and economic situation. However, it was also the time of the initial expansion of the newly constituted Pauline Order that began with the arrival of recently gathered hermits in Dubica. This was a crucial moment for the order, as it had to obtain additional property in the attempt to secure its legality. Through many benefits from the Crown and numerous bequests from powerful noble dynasties and politically influential individuals, the order was rapidly strengthened. By the beginning of the fifteenth century, the Pauline monks had founded ten monasteries in Slavonia alone. Because of their transformation during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries into the Baroque style, change of purpose from sacral to profane or military, or their complete disintegration, knowledge of late medieval Slavonian Pauline monasteries was scarce up until the end of the twentieth century. To amend this lack of information, the Croatian Conservation Institute begun a large-scale archaeological excavation project on Slavonian Pauline monasteries founded prior to the Battle of Mohács. Eight monasteries (Moslavina highlands, Remete, Zlat, Streza, Šenkovec, Lepoglava, Kamensko, Donja Vrijeska) have been ascertained and (partially) examined, while two are still only known on the basis of archival data (Dubica and Bakva). The objective of this paper is to present an overview of the characteristics of Slavonian Pauline monasteries' spatial organization, deduced in compliance with the results achieved thus far through archaeological excavations.