When I go to some city, the most important thing to me is that it is flat. And if so, It has my approval. And if it has more content to offer then….
Zrenjanin is the largest city of Banat and its capital… Through the city flows the river Begej, on whose streams and meanders numerous bridges have been built.
They say that no town in Serbia has so many bridges as Zrenjanin. Large and small, concrete or metal, wooden, even one on dry, Zrenjanin is said to have over ten. It’s also called Banat’s Venice.
And why not when Zrenjanin has a river flowing through the center, a beautiful square, a promenade? The river was formed by Zrenjanin and then Zrenjanin shaped it.
During his history, he changed his name. His name was Beckerek, Nadj Beckerek or Gros Becekerek, as Serbians, Hungarians and Germans called him in their languages.
Beckerek is derived from the name of the Hungarian medieval ruler called Imre Becej. The second part comes from the Hungarian word “kerek” which means “forest, lug”. Accordingly, Beckerek would be “Becej Forest” or “Becej Lug”.
Zrenjanin is the capital of Banat, and we all know that the Banatians are called ‘tulips’. And how did the Banatians become tulips?
The legend says that after a great victory over the Turks, somewhere in Backa was held a big celebration. The arrival of the brave Banatians was uncertain due to the overflowing of Tisa. The decorations for all the soldiers were not prepared so that Maria Theresa gave out what was predicted by the protocol. However, when the Banatians arrived, the queen did not get confused, she took off her expensive imperial gold chain, with a pendant in the form of a tulip, and placed it over a Banat officer neck. After the inspection, during lunch other jealous officers mocked the Banatians by calling them tulips. Since then, the Banatians have remained tulips.
The locals passionately love beer and theater. Although the “liquid bread” in Zrenjanin is no longer produced, they have a beer distillery, beer museum and beer days.
The city of Zrenjanin has long been known for beer production whose tradition began back in 1745 in one of the oldest breweries in Europe.
Zrenjanin also has a unique club in which there is a collection of over 4500 glasses, mugs, jugs with beer brands from around the world.
The Zrenjanin theater is one of the oldest buildings of its kind in Serbia, and this is the building of the National Theater built in 1839. Legend says that the theater originated from the immense love of a local wealthy citizen towards the famous Pestan actress. Namely, in order to attract her to come to the city, he converted his grain warehouse to a theater. Baroque interior is of exceptional beauty, acoustics and functionality.
All the other palaces in Zrenjanin were built by the rich merchants of that time.
Immediately after entering the center, as in every city, you can see a combination of past and present times.
In the main street there are palaces, buildings, built centuries ago in the styles of Hungarian secession, baroque, romanticism and many others. A mixture of these styles shows how much this city is multicultural.
Bence’s house- First department store of Zrenjanin
Seherezada building – built in the Mavarian style
The central square is the pride of the city, formerly the County Court, which today represents the City House.
This representative building from 1820 is the work of Josip Fischer in front of which is also the famous 100 year old yew tree.
The court palace is very reminiscent of parliaments throughout Europe, and this shows how much the town on the banks of the Begej River was developed at that time. The Palace of Justice was built from 1906 to 1908 in the form of the Cyrillic letter P.
The church and temples will also appeal to you – from the Uspensky Temple, Roman Catholic Cathedral, Russian, Slovak – Evangelical, Reformed Churches, to Vavedenje Temple and the Monastery of St. Melanie of Romanija.
In 1904 a renowned iron bridge was built to “rattle and be heard by everyone when horses run over it and to be heard when the friers bang with the blocks on their slippers as they hurry to arrive home when their grandmother told them to”. Allegedly designed in the studio of the famous Gustave Eiffel, although no one can with certainty prove or affirm that this bridge is indeed his work.
The pride and joy of Beckerek, the people called him the Beckerecka Cuprija, over which walk “four fat horses”, which are sang about in a poem.
The “Beckerek Cuprija” old bridge was removed in 1968, also called the Eiffel Bridge
This city symbol, unfortunately, was dismantled due to the regulation of the Begej River and was removed in 1969, to replace it with a concrete walkway, the only thing preserved from it – a pair of iron decorations from the portal bridge, called “fiels” – are located at the entrance to the “brewery”.
The small bridge represents the oldest bridge in operation, it was erected in 1904 at the site of a wooden bridge, and connects the tremendous center of the city of Zrenjanin with a part of the city called “Little America”. His original name was Franc Jozef Bridge. Among the inhabitants of the town in Begej, he simply remained – the Little Bridge.
And now for something that few people know… This is the city that Buffalo Bill rode, in 1906.
This adventurer/soldier made a real commotion with his circus in Great Beckerek. The ticket for his show were very expensive, but the locals couldn’t resist. The most impressive was the scene of the battle between the cowboys and the Indians, where they shot and thundered with guns that did not hit the audience. Members of the circus were legends of the Wild West, such as the Sitting Bull, Wild Bill Hickok, and Calamity Jane. One of the attractions was Annie Oakley, who fired a bullet at the cigar in her husband’s mouth. There is a story that on one occasion she was sick but managed to bring the show to the end, however, Buffalo Bill took the German crown princ out mistakenly from the crowd gave him a cigar and asked Annie to shoot. Fortunately, everything was fine and the circus was visited by other crowned heads of that time, such as Queen Victoria, Leo XIII and others.
Finally, do not miss to satisfy your sense of taste. In the streets of Zrenjanin, there are various languages spoken by representatives of 20 national minorities, all of which perfectly understand each other on the days of the strudel, tomato and croissant, held every year.
Traveled and enjoyed,