IMPORTANT EVENTS :
– On July 10th, 1326, the settlement was first mentioned as a village and was called Bečkerek.
– The first fair took place in 1331.
– The fort of Bečkerek was built in 1528 and demolished in 1701.
– The first primary school was founded in 1722.
– The first factory brewery was founded in 1745.
– The first hospital was founded in 1769.
– Veliki Bečkerek was proclaimed a commercial centre in 1769.
– The first pharmacy was founded in 1784.
– The conflagration in 1807 destroyed the town.
– The town’ s theatre was founded in 1839.
– The first bank was established in 1844.
– The first printing office was established in 1847.
– The first local newspaper was published in 1851.
– The first photo atelier was opened in 1854.
– The Serbian library was founded in 1864.
– The first steam mill was built in 1867.
– The first normal gauge rail track passed through the town in 1883.
– The first power plant was built in 1886in the Župania building courtyard.
– The first vacational secondary school, Viša trgovačka škola ( The high school of Commerce ) , was founded in 1895.
– Electric lighting started in 1896.
– The name of the town altered to Petrovgrad on February 18th, 1935.
– Historical archives founded in 1945.
– The town has been called Zrenjanin since October 2nd, 1946.
Life in the territory of today’ s town, which spreads on the meanders of the river Begej, originated in the prehistoric times. The town was for the first time mentioned as a settlement called Bečkerek in the beginning of the 14th century, in 1326. And it carried this name for the following six centuries with different pronunciations depending on who was ruling the area. A small, rural settlement evolved into a town already in the mid – 18th century, with the development of crafts and trade. Since then the heart of Central Europe and the Entire world beats in the very center of Bečkerek. At this time, the town was not only the synonym for agricultural work and activities. On the contrary, some other institutions were established, newspapers were being printed in several different languages, and schooling system, culture and arts were being developed.
In 1935, the town was renamed Petrovgrad, by the king Petar I Karađorđević. After the second World War, the town got its present name Zrenjanin, by the national hero Žarko Zrenjanin.
Through the course of history, roads and caravans, harvests and fires, armies and churches have interesected in this region. This region is also the place where paths of many peoples have crossed in various migrations and processes of colonization. Those were peoples who probably stopped to take a breath on their way, but who very often stayed bound to this fertile plain. This is proved by the fact that nowadays over twenty national entities live in the region of Zrenjanin municipality.
Most numerous of them are Serbs, and as far as national minorities are concerned Hungarians, Romanians, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Rusini, etc.
1.326 square kilometers of the municipality make Zrenjanin the second largest municipality in the Republic of Serbia. The municipality encloses the town of Zrenjanin and 21 settlements. Out of a total of 133. 000 people living in the municipality, about 80. 000 live in Zrenjanin. Zrenjanin is the administrative, economical, cultural, educational and health care centre of Middle Banat district.
THE OLD HEART OF THE TOWN
Cultural – historical monuments and cultural institutions are unavoidable part of the tourist offer of Zrenjanin.
The old heart of the town consists of preserved public and residential buildings, most of which were built in the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th century. Each bullding, separately or as a part of the ambient entirety, bears the mark of the rise and development of the town and reveals the social position of the building’ s owners.
By all means, The Town Hall ( the building of the Municipality Government ) is the most important of these buildings and it makes the town recognizable. In the past two centuries, all the important decisions connected to the functioning of the town and the region have been brought in this building. It was built on the foundations of the former Bečkerek fortress, which was standing in that place from 1528 to 1701.
Today’s baroque building was constructed in the period from 1816 to 1820. Another important building is situated nearby. It is the former Financial Palace and the present day National Museum which was built in the end of the 19th century.
The National Theatre ” Toša Jovanović “ was established in 1839 and it was one of the oldest theatres in the former Yugoslavia. Nowadays it has three scenes: drama, puppet and Chamber scene.
The Modern Gallery, which was established in 1964, is situated in the same building. Not long ago, the monument of the king Petar I Karađorđević was set in the city square. The monument is made as an imitation of the monument which was standing in the same place from 1928 to 1941 when the name of the town was Petrovgrad.