Municipality of Novi Bečej, heir of the Faro Convention

In the spirit of shared heritage: Exploration and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Municipality of Novi Bečej alongside the significance of European heritage. This section represents a thorough analysis of the cultural treasures that adorn our municipality, while emphasizing its connection to the broader European context. Discover the rich tradition, architectural beauty, and cultural events that shape the identity of our community as we explore how heritage and innovation can together enrich our future. Through diverse texts, we delve into not only the wealth of heritage surrounding us but also the ways in which we preserve, revitalize, and share it with the world, bridging the past, present, and future.

Center of Novi Bečej
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The spatial cultural-historical unit "Center of Novi Bečej"

At the end of 2014, the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Zrenjanin began drafting a proposal for the Decision to establish the ambiental complex of the center of Novi Bečej as the Spatial Cultural-Historical Unit "Center of Novi Bečej." After conducting research to assess the value of each individual object within the complex, defining the boundaries of the complex and its protected surroundings, work on drafting the decision is in its final stages, pending technical attachments and necessary supporting documentation to undergo the legal procedure.

The spatial cultural-historical unit "Center of Novi Bečej" emerged as a result of the intensified development of the town, starting from the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, until the end of World War I. The rapid economic prosperity of the place was undoubtedly contributed to by its favorable geographical position, proximity to the Tisa River, and fertile arable land in its vicinity. Thanks to the development of agriculture and the export of grain by river to larger cities in Central Europe, part of the Austrian Empire at that time, by the late 18th century, and especially during the first half of the 19th century, trade flourished, and the population of Novi Bečej experienced accelerated wealth. Prosperity continued after the construction of railway lines, Segedin-Kikinda-Temišvar, in the 1850s, and somewhat later, the second railway line, Veliki Bečkerek-Velika Kikinda. The transportation of goods was no longer conducted by boats but now through much faster and cheaper railway routes.

The valuable architectural heritage and history of Novi Bečej, which records significant events from the late 18th century onwards, after the sale of state-owned property, when the Novi Bečej estate was bought by merchant Pavle Hadžimihajlo in 1782, are examples of a clearly defined spiritual, educational, and cultural space of a multiethnic environment and the desire of Serbs, Hungarians, Germans, and Jews to preserve the national, religious, and cultural identity of their communities and the ever-present efforts not to lag behind the richer and more developed European environment and building tradition.

In addition to the socio-historical and urbanistic values, it is particularly important to emphasize the significance of the natural environment and the proximity to the Tisa River, onto whose bank the protected ambiental complex directly extends. If in the past, river trade greatly influenced the prosperity and development of this complex, today it could be tourist, hospitality, and sports-recreational activities that would certainly contribute to the revival of river traffic, as well as the future sustainable development of this place.

The houses in the main street Marshal Tito, Freedom Square, and Žarko Zrenjanin Street, which constitute the backbone of the ambiental complex of the center of Novi Bečej, are mostly one-story residential and commercial buildings, built from the 19th century to World War I, with preserved authentic appearance, street regulation, and parceling. They were built in the style of academism or secession, the predominant artistic movements in Europe at that time. The most famous ones are: Šlezinger Palace, Turkish-Bečej Savings Bank, Hugo Rihter's ironmongery, Maletić Bank, the old hotel "Jadran" ("Royal") and hotel "Vojvodina," Parish House, the house of spahi Kostović, Civil School with a gymnasium (now Elementary School Miloje Čiplić), the Harkov Institute (now High School "Ivo Lola Ribar"), and many others.

Within the boundaries of the cultural-historical complex, there are twelve buildings of special value, nineteen valuable objects, and two valuable objects in the protected surroundings.

Riding on the wings of the romantic spirit that emerged in almost all of Europe at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, influencing the Serbs in the present-day territory of AP Vojvodina as well, national zeal and cultural progress of the residents of Novi Bečej began to strengthen. In such conditions, theatrical performances became synonymous with the struggle to convey progressive thoughts and ideas. In Novi Bečej, Antonije Brežovski founded the first Amateur Theater Company in 1830.

However, the greatest achievements among renowned foreign theaters of that time were made by Joca Savić (1847-1915) from Novi Bečej, who was an actor, Shakespeare scholar, great theater educator, and publicist in Vienna, Weimar, Mannheim, and Munich.

Among the notable residents of Novi Bečej are also Ognjeslav Kostović (1851-1916), a famous inventor and scientist in the field of technical sciences, whose inventions can be ranked immediately behind those of Nikola Tesla and Mihajlo Pupin.

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