Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior

The construction of the Orthodox Cathedral of  Christ the Savior in the city centre was the first large-scale construction endeavour in Banja Luka after the First World War. Its buiding started in 1925 at an empty lot, at the time, in front of the “Balkan” cafe. It was designed by Dusan Zivanovic, an architect from Belgrade. The church was built in the Serbian-Byzantine style, which in our architectural practice occurs in the late 19th and early 20th century. Considering construction, the church was completed in 1929, but the interior was finished after a public Yugoslav competition, in which the winner was Grigorije Samojlov. Decorating the interior of the church and making the iconostasis were entrusted to Jovan Bijelic, Veljko Stanojevic Svetislav Strala, Jaroslav Kratina and Petar Suhacev. Church’s godfather was the first Ban of  the Vrbaska Banovina Svetislav Tisa Milosavljevic in 1929.  The construction of the Orthodox Cathedral would initiate further development of the surrounding area, especially during the Vrbas Banovina. The church was damaged in the Nazi bombing of Banja Luka in 1941, and soon after, it was destroyed by order of the then authorities of the occupying Independent State of Croatia. After the end of the Second World War, a monument to fallen soldiers in the National Liberation War against fascism was built in this location. The renewal of the church, now called church of Christ the Saviour, began in 1993 and its foundations were excavated in 1992. The monument to fallen soldiers in the National Liberation War was relocated to the area in front of the Bosna Hotel. The church was built from 1993 to 2004. A three-layered wall was built as a specific method of construction. The church was built from the most precious stone from the Middle East the so-called TRAVERTINE in colors (red and yellow), which is formed in volcanic eruptions. On the facade of the church there are portals, rosettes, columns, crosses, bifold archivolts which are made out of Carrara white marble. Pillars (6 large and 4 small) were made of granite from the place Giardone, Sardinia. Gold-plated sheet metal that covers the dome does not rust, and it was made using Russian technology. The bells were made in Innsbruck as were the bells and in the demolished church (B dur) 6400kg heavy, and the largest bell weighs 3200kg. The latest ringing electronics was installed. Although its interior is still not completed, the church of Christ the Saviour is one of the finest and largest architectural works of Orthodox churches in the Balkans