On the waves of the Tisa: A historical view of the past of the city of Novi Bečej

Discover the history and spirit of Novi Bečej through the visual treasury of the past 120 years. Our publication provides a unique opportunity to get a more complete picture of life in our city through documents, photos and postcards. Sail into the past and feel the pulse of its culture, trade and important personalities. Available to all lovers of local history!

Location and Origin of the Place

Military topographic map of Novi Bečej with the surrounding countryside from the year 1883.Novi Bečej is situated in the central part of Vojvodina. Its territory encompasses the northwestern part of the central Banat. As it is built along the Tisa River, it belongs to the group of Pannonian settlements. The geographical center of the settlement is intersected by coordinates 45° 36' north latitude and 20° 9' east longitude. In other words, Novi Bečej is located 66 kilometers from the confluence of the Tisa River into the Danube.

According to the results of archaeological research in the current location of Novi Bečej and its immediate surroundings, settlements have been discovered dating back to 3000 years before the common era. The oldest and best-explored sites in this region are Borđoš to the southwest and Matejski Brod to the northeast of Novi Bečej. The distance of these sites from the present settlement is approximately 6 kilometers.

The first written mention of our place dates back to the year 1091. In a document written in Latin, among the settlements on the Tisa, Bechey is mentioned, where the Kuman tribe was defeated by the Hungarian army. In a deed of gift from the Hungarian king Béla IV in 1238, our place is mentioned as Willa Wechey. Also, as a fortified town, Castellanum Beche, it is mentioned in a document from the year 1342.

Pavle Hadžimihajlo, a merchant, purchased the estate of Novi Bečej in 1782. His son Jovan Pavle was married to the Greek woman Klara Papapulisio, who adopted the surname Sisanji, carried by her ancestors in Greece. Klara's son Nikola inherited the properties of the estate. Nikola married his daughter Eržebet, a wealthy heiress, to Count Karolj Vesterburg Leiningen, Klara (wealthy heiress) to Lipot Rohonci, and his third daughter Kostanca, also with a rich dowry, to Đula Urban.

The present Novi Bečej was formed by merging the settlements of Arača (first mentioned in documents in the 14th century as Pannonian Arača) or Vranjevo (first appearing in a document in 1717) and Novi Bečej after the Second World War.

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