Subotica (Szabadka in Hungarian) is situated in the north of Vojvodina, Serbia, several kilometers South of Hungarian border. Before the First World War it belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy, later Austro-Hungarian Empire, and it was part of Hungary. When Subotica acquired the status of the free royal town in 1779, it was named after the Habsburg queen: Maria Theresiopolis. At that time it was still a village looking settlement. During the first half of the 19th century only a few buildings could be seen rising above the roofs of a small ground level village houses: there were baroque towers of three churches, baroque City Hall and only a very few private two-story houses.
After the Compromise of 1867, when Austro-Hungarian Empire was formed, Subotica took part in the intensive development of Hungary. The most important moment in the development of the town was the arrival of the railway line in 1869. This railway line allowed easier access to export markets for local commodities (mostly wheat). The growth of trade and possibility of cheap transport allowed very intensive development of the town. By the 1880's the town became wealthy. Ground floor houses started to transform into two and three story rental buildings and palaces and in only three decades the whole settlement completely changed. The most intensive construction of the town started after 1880's inviting many architects and engineers from other parts of Hungary like Ödön Lechner, Raichl Ferenc, Vágo brothers, Marcell Komor, Dezső Jakab, etc, and also allowing education of local architects. Influx of money caused the influx of people, ideas, aspirations and competitive spirit. Residential and rental houses in different historic styles were built in the most important streets of the town, and among them, the mansion of Simon Leović designed by Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos in 1893. The first truly Art Nouveau rental three story house was designed by Titus Mačković in 1899 for the owner Lajos Fazekas. In the same year the architect Ferenc Raichl constructed his two rental ground floor Art Nouveau houses (No 11 and 13 in Vase Stajića street). After this shy representation of the Art Nouveau style, the intensive construction of Art Nouveau buildings continued at the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the most important Art Nouveau buildings were built in Subotica in the early 20th century, like Great Synagogue, Town hall, Raichl palace, bank buildings and many other houses and palaces. Over 100 buildings were built in that period. Some of the very important Art Nouveau buildings were also erected on the shore of the lake Palić near Subotica: Water tower, Female bathhouse, Great Terrace and Conen villa.
The development of the town at the turn of the century brought the influences of different local European Art Nouveau styles to the provincial town of Subotica: Hungarian Secession, Vienna Secession, German Jugendstil, French and Belgian Art Nouveau and others, thus promoting the town’s multicultural spirit in creating a cosmopolitan atmosphere which is still present today.
City of Subotica
Trg slobode 1
Republic of Serbia
Phone: + 381 24-666-677
Fax: +381 24-666-688
Ministry of culture and Information, R. Serbia
Moderna galerija “Likovni susret” – Modern Art Gallery “Likovni susret”
Informal group of citizen “Smile at Subotica”
Municipal Museum of Subotica
Historical Archives of Subotica
Intermunicipal Institute for the Protection of Monuments
Institute for Urban Planning – Subotica
Municipal Library Subotica
Museums or galleries
Foundations and associations
Shops and other establishments
With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union
Responsible publisher: Arlette Verkruyssen, General Director,
Ministry of the Brussels Capital Region Department of Spatial Planning and Housing,
Rue du Progrès 80 b 1, 1035 Brussels - Belgium