Kalinovac - Church of St. Luka the Evangelist and history of the settlement

The history of Kalinovac can be traced back to the last four centuries, i.e., from the first half of the 17th century when the ancestors of today’s inhabitants of Kalinovac came to this location. Kalinovac or Kalinovec (the correct name of this settlement found in historical records and closest to the form “Kalnovec” used by the local people) originated and developed, like other settlements in this part of Podravina, at the point of contact between sandy surfaces and standing and running waters (swamps and streams) supplied by the Drava River. Here, people exploited forests, arable land, meadows, pastures, water, and even sandy areas and vineyards on the slopes of Bilogora. The strong influence of the wetland environment on the settlement is also shown by various theories about the name Kalinovac, which originates from kala (mud) and the plant kalina or toponym - Kalinova stream. Kalinovac was first drawn on maps in 1639 when the settlement had already been developed there.

Historical sources and tangible and intangible heritage testify to the intensive settlement of Kalinovac at the time of the Military Frontier when the Habsburg-Ottoman imperial border passed through this location. Namely, the population of Kalinovac consisted of border guards or frontier guards who were in fact “free peasants and soldiers”. They were engaged in growing crops and cattle farming, and lived in houses or family cooperatives, while men always had to be prepared for military service. Although the Frontier society was by definition patriarchal, women played a major role in it as heads of family and estates in times of male absence.

The number of inhabitants increased sharply in the 18th and 19th centuries. Therefore, the people of Kalinovac found new arable land and cleared forests in the direction of the Drava River, where they also had their own mills. Thus, konaki developed where people had temporary housing for cattle. When the house cooperatives disintegrated, konaki became permanently inhabited and today they function as independent hamlets. In economic terms, the inhabitants of Kalinovac had very limited space for intensive agricultural production because, in the past, the settlement was surrounded by watercourses on three sides. On the one side, the expansion of the settlement was limited by swamps (berek), and, on the other side, by sandy areas.

When the regulation of watercourses was carried out in the 19th century, the old center of the settlement in the so-called Gornji kraj (Upper part) was abandoned. A chapel on the site of the former church of St. Luka the Evangelist and the area where there used to be a cemetery on a gentle sandy hill were also located there. In the second half of the 19th century, parallel with the construction of the parish church, the center of Kalinovac was formed on the present location. At the same time, the settlement was expanding in the direction of the existing streets, and the estates were becoming more numerous.

The parish of St. Luka the Evangelist in Kalinovac was founded in 1881. Until then, this place had belonged to the parish with its center in Đurđevac. Today's parish church of St. Luka the Evangelist was built in 1867 in the neo-Gothic style and was thoroughly renovated and expanded in 1909 when it was given its present layout. The bell tower is the work of architect Janko Holjac.

First, the inventory was moved from the old chapel of St. Luka the Evangelist to the new church and, after the founding of the parish, new altars were purchased. Furthermore, Heferer organ was also placed in the church and the tomb of God shaped as a crystal mosaic made of Czech glass was purchased in Vienna in 1885. The windows were decorated at the beginning of the 20th century with stained glass and were recently restored, alongside the whole church. On the main altar, there are sculptures of St. Luka the Evangelist and St. Cyril and Methodius, and the side altars are dedicated to St. Joseph and Our Lady of Lourdes.

Apart from Kalinovac, the parish includes the villages of Batinske, Molvice and Ladna Voda. There are several chapels in the parish: the Heart of Jesus, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Valentine, St. Vitus and St. Mark the Evangelist.

Pastors and parish managers since the founding of the parish until today were: Mirko Krsnik, Alojzije Boroša, Franjo Klarić, Martin Galović, Nikola Medvedec, Slavko Fišter, Ivan Šabarić, Juraj Kranjčev, Oskar Jamnik, Stjepan Šustić, Nikola Benko, Ivan Đurtan, Antun Vilk, Nikola Samodol, Mladen Gorupić i Ivica Gladoić.