Novi Becej

Novi Becej is located by the left bank of the river Tisa on the 66th km from its confluence into Danube, and the only town on Tisa whose center is precisely on the river and it is also embellished by a beautiful quay. Besides Novi Becej, the municipality consists of 3 populated settlements: Novo Milosevo, Kumane and Bocar.

The municipality of Novi Becej has an area of 609km2.

The terrain of Novi Becej sub region is similar to the terrain of Northern Banat and most of Vojvodina. The terrain is made up of lowlands with 75-82m above sea level, and mildly sloped towards the riverbed of Tisa. The climate is mild and continental with an average yearly temperature of 10.9 degrees Celsius, with an average rainfall of 600mm. The most prominent wind is kosava with a frequency of 182 times per year.



Becej town was a Roman fortress from the later part of the classical period. In its vicinity, in the place of the Slav village of Raca (Hungarain “Arac”), a basilica was built in the 9th century, which was afterwards a Benedictine abbey for a long time. The tales say that it is connected to the mission of St Methodius.

The first certain mention of Novi Becej is from 1332-1337. Hungarian historiography believes that it was part of the domain of the Becei family, which originates from the age of Arpadovics. Before that, it is most likely that Becej (Villa Becei) is mentioned in one grant from Bella in 1238, where it is confirmed that the place belonged to Stolnobeogradski monastery of the Order of the Knights of Saint John, but it is sure that whether this is about this place. King Sigismund of Luxemburg gifted it first to the Losonci family and then the town of Becej belonged to Despot Djurdj Brankovic.

The fight for the town

In the 15th century, the town intermittently changes hands. In the first half of the 15th century, Novi Becej was in the hands of Serbian despots. At the end of the 15th century, Vuk Brankovic (“Fire Dragon Vuk”) successfully defended it from the Turks. With the extinction of the Brankovics and the death of King Matthias Corvinus, Becej was in the hands of Gereb family of Vingart, and in 1514 it was taken by the insurgents of Djordje Doza. After the quenching of the uprising, the Becej town was held by Stefan Verbeci, the duke of Jovan Zapolja, but in 1531 it was taken by a Serbian duke, Stefan Balentic.

It is known that around the town there were several settlements: Berek, Bordjos, Matej, Sent Kiralj, Simudj, Vran, Arac and Kovince. After its liberation from the Turks, Novi Becej (Hungarian “Turkish Becej”) developed as a landed estate, separated from the settlement of Vranjevo in the north. After 1946, these settlements were connected and named Novi Becej.

In 1551, Sokollu Mehmed Paha took over the town of Becej. In 1594, Banat Serbs took it, because they rose in a rebellion over the entire Banat but the rebellion was quenched by Sinan Pasha. Not even during the time of the Turkish rule did the town faultier. It was described by the Turkish travel writer Evliya Çelebi, who spent time in it. In 1717 the town had 20 Serbian homes and it belonged to the Beckerecki district.

In 1699, Austria and Turkey signed the Treaty of Karlowitz, according to which the fortress of Becej was destroyed in 1701. The Serbs resettled into Novi Becej mostly from Old Becej and Potisje, and in the nearby village of Vranjevo from Potisje and Pomorisje in 1752. The Sisani family bought Novi Becej from the Vienna Court Chamber in 1781.

A Serbian church was built in 1742. In the second half of the 18th century, the migration of Hungarians into Novi Becej had begun. In 1848 there were bloody battles and in 1886 a third of the town was burned down.

Becej was in 1883 connected with the rest of the railway system of the kingdom of Hungary and from then on, it started to develop much more, becoming in time the regional center of wheat trade in Southern Hungary. At the start of the 20th century, in order to have an easier river sailing, the remains of the Becej fortress were completely destroyed.

In 1919, Novi Becej becomes part of Yugoslavia.

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