The fortification of Gradac is located on a hill that prevails over the Mlava valley, about 7 km east of Krepoljin, at the beginning of the Gornjak - Ribare gorge. Right on that spot, the Mlava makes a big turn, breaking through the rocky cliffs of the hill called “Đula”.

The convenient location for road control, that led through the Mlava valley to the ore-bearing regions of Eastern Serbia, defined the strategic significance of this fortification. Moreover, the terrain configuration influenced its irregular form adjusted to the cliffs which protected the terrain on three sides. The most approachable entrance is the one southwest.

Due to the dense vegetation and inaccessibility, the ramparts and the ancillary facilities are barely discernible. There was probably a suburb, too. The stone ramparts of the fortification are about a meter thick. The archaeological research in 1981 included only the church of modest dimensions, namely 9,84 x 4,75 m. The church, which is located on the eastern edge of the fortification, is preserved up to one meter in height. Before the exploration, the church was pretty much robbed and destroyed by the treasure hunters. It was a single-nave building with a semicircular apse on the east and a narthex on the west. The traces of frescoes are preserved on the walls. In the narthex, two masonry tombs are preserved where, most likely, the founders were buried. It was built directly on the stone with visible traces of the older facility.

Further research of the entire complex is required in order to precisely state the date of the fortification’s construction, as well as of the construction of the church. According to the existing scarce data, it is assumed that it was interruptedly used from the Early Byzantine period to the Late Medieval period.

 

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