Located in the administrative centre of Central Banat District in the autonomous province of Vojvodina in Serbia, is the largest city of Banat region, Zrenjanin. Designated as the ‘European City of Sport’, it is the third largest city in Vojvodina. Zrenjanin was named; in honour of Žarko Zrenjanin, a leader of the Vojvodina communist Partisans during World War – II. This city houses approximately 76511 inhabitants in the urban areas and 123400 inhabitants in the administrative areas as per 2011 census data. It was also known as Veliki Bečkerek or Nagybecskerek under AustriaHungary rule up to 1918. Since it is located along the banks of River Begej and River Tisa, at the centre of the Serbian Banat region, 70 kilometres from Belgrade and 50 kilometres from Novi Sad, Zrenjanin is a significant resource and transition area.

The architectural character of Zrenjanin 

Archaeological discoveries & documented accounts in history

Archaeological discoveries in recent years provided evidence for the fact that Zrenjanin had been inhabited in the early Neolithic eras around 5000 B.C. Coloured Ceramics with fascinating embellishments were discovered in Krstić Tumulus, located about 10kms away from Zrenjanin. Pieces of Bronze age ceramics were found in the residential area of Šumica

The first documented accounts of Zrenjanin, then known as “Veliki Bekerek,” originate from the 16th century. At that time, it was a large community mostly occupied by Hungarian farmers. From 1551 to 1717, the city was governed by the Ottoman Empire. Bekerek and Vojvodina joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes following the First World War. In 1946, the city’s name was changed to Zrenjanin in honour of the national hero, Žarko Zrenjanin.

Structures in history

Aside from its unique urban character, Zrenjanin is home to a plethora of historically significant religious monuments. Most of the structures that line this city’s streets were constructed during the 19th and 20th centuries, and they serve as significant historical and cultural landmarks and noteworthy tourist destinations.

The City Hall

A large fire destroyed nearly every structure in the city in 1807, including the previous county building now known as The City Hall’. Under the direction of architect Joseph Fischer, the construction of new infrastructure for the county began in 1816 and was completed in 1820. It was then reconstructed between 1885 and 1887 by two prominent Budapest architects, Gyula Pártos and Ödön Lechner.

The City Hall serves as the symbol of Zrenjanin. It is located in the heart of the city at Liberty Square and is of neo-baroque style. Additional features include pink marble & stained-glass interiors, a network of passageways & staircases connecting about 135 offices.

Right, and left wings, Neo-baroque facade design elements, balconies, Zsolnay roof tile patterns, and miscellaneous items like electrical lighting and telephone lines; were installed in the county building. It was the most contemporary structure in the southern region of the Kingdom of Hungary at the time. Three stained glasses that represent the personifications of “Justice,” “Knowledge,” and “Power” adorn the main staircase. 

An architectural review of location: Zrenjanin - Sheet1
Zrenjanin City Hall_©File:Gradska kuća – panoramio (5).jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Cathedral of St. John of Nepomuk, Zrenjanin

Near the City Hall is a red-roof Cathedral (Patron Saint: Jovan Nepomuk) built in 1861 built in the Neo-romanticism style. With magnificent stained-glass windows, frescoes, and an organ, scenes from the New Testament were painted on the roof, with a copy of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci capturing everyone’s immediate attention.

An architectural review of location: Zrenjanin - Sheet2
Cathedral of St. John of Nepomuk, Zrenjanin_©Zrenjanin Cathedral and City Hall – Zrenjanin – Wikipedia

Palace of Justice & other landmarks

The court and jail are housed at the Palace of Justice, a structure with exceptional historical, architectural, and environmental importance that commands the area around the lake and The Little Bridge. It was constructed by Budapest-based architects to serve as a courthouse, and in 1991 it was designated as a cultural landmark of paramount significance. 

The oldest street in Zrenjanin, Kralj Aleksandar Street, has several remarkable structures from various eras. As one walks through these streets, various architectural styles, intriguing building facades, and structures take them back in time.

Other well-known architectural landmarks include the home of Teodosije Tuner, a stonecutter known by the nickname “Šeherezada”, which is one of the most iconic structures in the city center and has a defined polychromatic exterior, Uspenska Serbian Orthodox church Piarist Church, the Reformed Church, National Museum, etc. 

An architectural review of location: Zrenjanin - Sheet3
Zrenjanin Court House also known as Palace of Justice Palata pravosuđa – panoramio – Zrenjanin – Wikipedia

Post 1990

Especially since the early 90s, socio-economic circumstances & characteristics have always had a significant impact on infrastructural development in the city of Zrenjanin. In the early ’90s, during the Yugoslav wars, Serbia was falling apart, leading to a severe economic, employment, and migration crisis, with many refugees seeking shelter in the city. Post-war, the Sustainable Development Strategy 2006 to 2013 & the Towns General Plan 2006 to 2026 were formulated & approved for implementation. By 2007, Zrenjanin was elevated to the status of a city from a municipality. 


Known for focusing on culture and art, Zrenjanin is a city well known for propagating international tolerance and its hospitable nature e. An avid art and history buff will most definitely feel at home while immersing themselves in aquarelle art colonies and monuments, taking them back in time. Despite the challenges faced in the past due to wars and their destruction, the city continuously takes maximum efforts through its available resources in renovating facades, upgrading electrical & lighting systems for maintenance and restoring the city’s urban historical character. 


Zrenjanin (2023) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zrenjanin  (Accessed: February 19, 2023). 

Zrenjanin-the-multicultural-city-of-the-future/  (no date) You are being redirected… Available at: https://www.serbia.com/visit-serbia/cities/zrenjanin-the-multicultural-city-of-the-future/  (Accessed: February 19, 2023). 


An aspiring architect and avid bibliophile, Suchita keeps looking out for fresher and innovative sustainable solutions for co-existence with precarious environment and fauna. She has a keen interest in digital technology and is currently exploring writing as a means to express & think beyond the box in architecture & urbanism.