Sremski Karlovci is a town, often viewed, as a place frozen in many time layers because of the historical events and its architecture. It is one of the smallest municipalities in the country (50,8 km²), with few apartment block buildings and many old houses and historical buildings. Many of those houses were homes to famous people, that spent part of their lives in this charming little town.
Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Vrangel was an officer in the Imperial Russian army and later commanding general of the anti-Bolshevik White Army in Southern Russia in the later stages of the Russian Civil War. After the defeat, part of the White army, led by the general, fled to Sremski Karlovci. Vrangel set up his headquarters (from 1922-1926) in the town nearby the town center (today the name fo the street is Mitropolita Stratimirovića street). He died in Brussels, allegedly killed by his brother’s butler (cluedo anyone?). It is interesting that at the time of his death the location of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Russian Ministry of Culture was in the town of Sremski Karlovci.
Branko Radičević was an influential Serbian poet and the founder of modern Serbian lyric poetry. He was born in 1824 in Slavonski Brod (nowdays Croatia), but soon moved to Sremski Karlovci, where he finished the famous Karlovačka grammar school. While living and studying in Sremski Karlovci, his first book of poetry appeared, announcing a new era in Serbian poetry. While studying his house was located in what today is Mitropolita Stratimirovića Street (second house in the same street already). His further education took him to Vienna, where he died of tuberculosis at the age of 29. Branko’s poetry was significant because he was among the pioneers that started using new reformed Serbian language that is still being used today.
The palace ‘Ilion’ was built from 1836-1848. It was bought by the Baron Rajačić and it was redecorated in 1865. Spacious yard of the palace, was once a lush garden full of plants, while nowadays it is a large lawn. In the yard, there is a fountain named ‘Patrijahovac’, built in 1864. Today the building is home to the town museum and it contains collection of items from 19th century. Its owner Josif Rajačić was Serbian Patriarch, administrator of Serbian Vojvodina and baron. He assisted the educational development of the Serbian people in the Austrian Empire and opened the Patriarchal Library and Print Works.
House of Dimitrije Anastasijevič Sabov is yet another beautiful and important building in Mitropolita Stratimirovića Street. He was a wealthy merchandiser and one of the founders of the Karlovci grammar school. He built this house for himself and his family in 1790. All four windows on the ground floor are richly decorated with wrought- iron grilles in the Rococo style, and each of them have the initials of the owner of the house, “D. A.”