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Sombor as zupanija's center | Sombor in 20 century


Thus Sombor entered the 20th century in the full plumage of a zupanija seat, as a town to which one would come on business, but for pleasure of entertainment, as well. This radiance of fame was amplified by the one coming from the power station built in 1905. The rich landowners and prosperous wheat-traders were still numerous at the time; there were still a growing number of financial institutions and new magazines in the cultural life that was in its full swing, with many prominent intellectuals, whose work started developing in different directions. The Hungarian intellectuals gathered more and more often in the Hungarian Reading Club, taking part in the activities of the Free Lycee and the History Society of Bacbodroska zupanija. On the other hand, the Serb intellectuals’ growing efforts at the patriotic role of uniting and acquiring reputation for the cultural achievements of their ethnic entity in Serbia and the Habsburg Monarchy, started bearing fruit. In 1910,the citizens of Sombor organized the first Serb fine-arts and sculpture exhibition in Vojvodina, displaying works by three sculptors and 18 painters from Serbia; the same year saw the foundation of the Sombor-seated Association of Serb Singing-clubs, which would unite 47 choirs from the whole Empire. On the very eve of World War I on June 7th to 9th 1914, the Slava (patron-saint day) of the Serb Singing-club was held in Sombor, as the first and only gathering of 23 choirs from all parts of the Empire and the Belgrade choirs "Stankovic" and "Obilic" as their guests.
 somborkinja srpkinja
 First Serbain art workshop
and statuary exhibition in Vojvodina
1910. godine
However, all this glitter and important events were not able to hide all the more noticeable signs of stagnation, first seen at the turn of the century, in first place as the result of neglecting the industrial development. These tendencies were especially strong after the end of World War I, when Sombor, liberated on November 13th 1918, became part of the Kingdom of Serbia, its "home-state", if one bears in mind the fact that, from its first mention, the town’s population was predominantly Serb.
Although the citizens of Sombor played an important role in strengthening the ties with Serbia before the war, and especially close to its end, the destiny of their town was going to take another direction, when the year of 1929 brought the establishment of "banovinas" (political and territorial units in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, under the rule of "bans" – civil governors). Preceding these events, Sombor’s contribution and important role in the process of Serb unification was evident atthe Great National Assembly in Novi Sad, when Joca LaloSevic was elected president and his fellow-citizens Petar Konjovic and Kosta Popovic, respectively as his deputy and member of the People’s Administration of Vojvodina.
T The banovina seat and with it all the important institutions which were essential sources of income, moved from Sombor to Novi Sad. Pushed to the periphery of important roads and political decision making, the decline of power and fame of Sombor was getting more and more rapid.
Amidst all these events, the onslaught of World War II brought another period of Hungarian occupation, which lasted until October 21st 1944. During the years of occupation, Sombor was once again the seat of Backa zupanija. The town paid for its freedom dearly-1195 people lost their lives, among them 964 Jews.
 sarvar groblje
Groblje zrtava sarvarskog logora
The enthusiasm of post-war reconstruction and re-newal spread over Sombor as well. Apart from that, it is important to note that the ethnic structure of the town’s population was once again significantly changed, similarly to what happened after the year of 1918. Namely, Serbs from Croatia settled here in 1945.
However, other towns, even the ones in the closest vicinity, kept pace with the demands of time and developed more rapidly, leaving Sombor the role of source of raw materials for the neighbouring food industry, and the role of predominantly being a cultural centre. A bit more in this field was done in the 70s, when the industrial complex was being built at a more steady pace, predominantly based on agricultural resources and mostly located in the industrial area, far enough from the town, in order not to disrupt its spreading and harm the environment.
Leaving aside the consequences of years long international sanctions and the more recent NATO aggression, Sombor possesses significant industrial potential which is not so difficult to raise to the level it was once on. At the same time, some of them, such as the Accumulator factory "Sombor", the Factory of oil and vegetable fat "Sunce", the Factory of dairy products "Somboled" have never reduced their production during these years. Among the ones which definitely need financial help are the "Bane Sekulic" metalworks (a stock company), the "Panonka" food factory, the Car factory "Crvena zastava", the Footwear factory "Boreli", the Mill products industry "Seme-Sombor" and some others. Of course,Sombor’s greatest treasures should also be mentioned here: vast and high-quality ploughland; 202 kilometers of canal system, the Danube river and the forest belt alongside it and the canal; one of Europe’s richest hunting areas with quality big game, areas which are also suitable for fishing- and hunting-tourism; staying in the area and enjoying the bungalows and splendours of nature.
 bogata lovista
U okolini Sombora
su bogata lovista
The town itself offers the visitors insight into its rich cultural heritage, throughout the years enriched by numerous outstanding individuals who were born here or gained their reputation in the town. Coming from different ethnic and religious circles, they implanted their highest values in the town’s spirit. Many great and important people were born in Sombor, among them: Vasilije Damjanovic, author of the first arithmetic book, Nikolaj Simic, author of the first book of logic and Avram Maksimovic, author of the first book about bee-keeping. All these were the first of their kind among the Serbs. Other outstanding individuals born in Sombor are: Avram Mrazovic, founder of the first teacher-training school among the Serbs; Ivan Jugovic, founder of the Belgrade University; Pavle Atanackovic and Gedeon Petrovic, episcops and Samuilo Masirevic, patriarch of the Serb Orthodox Church; Josip Slezinger, composer and father of Serb bourgeois music; Jovan Hadzic,the founder of "Matica srpska" (the most important Serb cultural institution); Jozsef Schweidl, general of the Hungarian revolutionary army in 1848/49 and one of the "Arad victims"; Antal Koch, geologist and academician; DJordje Bakic, geologist; Nikola Vukicevic, pedagogue; Milka Grgurova, famous actress; Karoly Vertesi, writer of travels and journalist; Gyula Varosi, Catholic archbishop and writer; Arpad Juhasz, painter; Jozsef Tim, medical doctor and historian; Veljko Petrovic, writer and academician; Geza Barci, Hungarian linguist and academician; Milan Konjovic, painter and academician; Janos Herceg,writer and academician.
There were many important people who were not born in Sombor, but who created their best works and were active in this town: Georgije Brankovic, later patriarch of the Serb Orthodox Church; Jovan Djordjevic, the founder of the theatre in Novi Sad and the author of the Serb national anthem "Boze pravde"; Dr Milan Jovanovic-Batut, medical doctor and writer; Dr Laza Kostic, lawyer and poet; Dr Paja Radovanovic, pedagogue and psychologist; Ede Margalic, linguist and professor at Budapest University; Petar Konjovic, composer and academician. Preparing themselves for the later steps in their lives,many famous people were educated in Sombor: Josif Marinkovic, compo-ser; Jovan Ducic, writer; Isidora Sekulic, writer and academician; Dr Kornell Szenteleky, medical doctor and writer, as well as many others.
 apatinski put2
Tunell in a plain,
it's possible only in Sombor
Regardless of Sombor’s rises and declines during the years which mark the town’s travel through time, all these people contributed to the fact that there has always been a continuous line in its existence; Sombor is a town of mutual respect and appreciation, tolerance of diversity among people of good will who have, thus, always taken care of their town, creating in it a sublime combination of urban functionality, architectural beauty and harmony, culture of living in nature’s rhythm, dictated by the ample greenery of the many parks and treelines, all of which have made Sombor exceptional in its uniqueness, an oasis on the vast Backa plain.

first page | turkish period | austrian period
Sombor as zupanija's center | Sombor in 20th century

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