The village of Jarkovci is located in the southwestern part of the municipality of Inđija, on the south-eastern slopes of Fruška Gora. It is 7.5 kilometres away from the centre of Inđija by the regional road Inđija-Ruma (R-109) or only 2.5 kilometres by the local road Inđija-Jarkovci (L-22).
The village stretches along Lake Jarkovci (Jarkovačko jezero), which is located in the area of the village of Ljukovo and is also known as Lake Ljukovo (Ljukovsko jezero). It is about two kilometres long, about 200 meters wide, and the average depth is about 4.5 meters. The reservoir was built during 1976 by dividing the stream to irrigate the surrounding crops. The earth dam is about seven meters high and about 180 meters long. Today, the lake is mostly used for outings and recreation, and it is most often visited by fishermen, especially in spring, late summer and autumn. The fishing permit issued by the Fishing Association of Vojvodina is valid for fishing on the lake. By marking the 5.5-kilometre-long cycling route, visitors can make the circle around the lake, which partly leads through the village.
Jarkovci is located in an area that once belonged to the noble family Pejačević. In that period, the settlement was named Moja Volja (My Will). In the 1980s, the settlement changed its name from Moja Volja to Jarkovci.
The Legend of the Name of Moja Volja (My Will)
It is believed that Count Petar Pejačević had 99 grasslands (‘pustara’), because if he had had 100, he would have had to support the army. The Moja Volja (My Will) estate was his smallest estate. Legend has it that Count Petar was a bohemian and a gambler. On one occasion, on the balcony of his summer house, he lost everything except this estate. Then his wife asked to play the cards of her own will. She sat down at the table and won everything back, so they called the estate Moja Volja (My Will). Another legend says that Count Petar had a daughter, Dora, who walked by the lake and asked for a summer house to be built there since it was her will to do so.
The Former estate of the Count Petar Pejačević
In this area, there used to be a grassland (‘pustara’), Moja volja, which was owned by a noble family Pejačević from Ruma. The estates were agricultural-production units within large manorial estates, i.e., farms with a village. They consisted of arable land and a large number of outbuildings, production buildings, workers’ houses (workers who cultivated the land were called ‘biroši’) and administrator’s apartments. An administrative building (‘kurija’) was often built on the estate, in which the nobility stayed only occasionally, usually once a year, when they came to collect income. One such was a building on the shores of Lake Jarkovac.
The exact time of the building of this manor house is not known, but apparently it dates from the second half of the 19th century, when the estate of Ruma was managed by Count Petar Pejačević and his son Adolf. The building was erected on a hill, which gave it fine views of the surrounding countryside. It has a base in the shape of the letter “T”, with a long single-story and two-story transverse wing. Originally, there was a balcony on the first floor, however, in the later period, another ground floor balcony in the neo-baroque style was added. A small, beautifully landscaped garden with flowers, paths made of gravel and some sculptures, as well as a small park used to surround the building.
After the First and Second World Wars, the Moja Volja estate was largely destroyed and all outbuildings were demolished. Between the two world wars, the preserved manor house housed the home for blind girls, which was under the highest protection of Queen Marija Karađorđević.
After the Second World War, the building was bought by Dr. Kostić, and it is assumed that the second balcony was added at that time. The building remained in his ownership until the middle of 1950s, when it was bought by the local community. Today, it is a multi-purpose facility that houses a village school and kindergarten, a local office and a health centre.
The first academy-trained painter of Inđija, Oskar Sommerfeld, was born in 1885 on Pejačević’s estate Moja Volja. Oskar graduated from the Academy of Arts in Budapest. He mostly painted Srem and Fruška Gora landscapes. After the Second World War, he had to leave these parts and move to Austria. This left its mark in his work, and he transferred to the canvas the destinies and sufferings of his compatriots, who, like him, were forced to leave this region. One of his paintings Beg (The Flight, Die Flucht) is in the Palais des Nations in Geneva. His later oeuvre is dominated by Alpine landscapes. Sommerfeld died in 1973 in Austria.