Heritage and identity: Glavašev's House - Jewel of Vranjeva history

Discover the rich heritage and cultural identity of Vranjevo through the story of the House of Glavas. This architecturally significant building is a symbol of the past and identity of this area. With its classic variant of the classicist style, rich decoration and deep roots in history, the house exudes character and tells the story of the times that shaped the community. Read more about its characteristics, architectural details and role in the cultural life of Vranjevo. The House of Glavas not only preserves heritage, but also inspires a vision of the future, encouraging awareness of the importance of preserving cultural identity for generations to come.

Historical Data

Historical Data

In the mid-18th century, after the disarmament of the Potisje-Pomorišje border, at the initiative of the Hungarian nobility, the Viennese court offered the Serbs the option to move to Banat or to remain under Hungarian county administration. Some Serbs relocated to Russia, while others moved to Banat. In northern Banat, six border guard units were established at that time to maintain order, defense, and protection from the Tisza River, facilitating regular river traffic. The headquarters of one of these units was in Vranjevo, stretching from the ruins of the Bečej fortress to the former Bakta (Pakto) lake near the Tisza port called Gustoš, slightly north of the present large warehouse on the embankment near the Tisza at the exit from Novi Bečej. Later, the village of Vranovo developed there, also called the Vranjevo trench. After the disarmament of the border, many Serbian border guards from Stari Bečej, Bačko Petrovo Selo, and Mol settled in the trench.

The initial core of Vranjevo was formed in the area from the intersection of today's Josif Marinković and Ivan Milutinović streets to the intersection of Josif Marinković Street and 7th July Street, gradually expanding south towards Novi Bečej and north towards Mali Begej. The first church was in the same location as the current Serbian Orthodox Church, built in the early 19th century. In 1774, when the Veliki Kikinda District was established, consisting of ten Serbian settlements in northern Banat, including Kikinda, Vranjevo became part of it, experiencing rapid economic development thanks to its favorable location on the Tisza and trade in grain. It housed the main grain warehouses of the entire district. In a relatively short time, Vranjevo became the second town in the district after Kikinda.

According to the census of 1781, the Veliki Kikinda District had 71 suvaks (grain warehouses), including 9 in Vranjevo. In Novi Bečej and Vranjevo, there were also mills on the Tisza. According to data from 1862, there were 13 mills in Vranjevo. Windmills gradually displaced suvaks and mills because they were cheaper and easier to maintain, and they utilized free energy. In the 1920s, three windmills were grinding grain in Vranjevo.

From the end of the great uprising in 1848-49 until World War I, Vranjevo continuously progressed. It developed as an agricultural settlement, and within Austria and later Austro-Hungary as a feudal state, agriculture enjoyed a privileged position to some extent. A large territory and plenty of arable land allowed individuals to accumulate wealth, leading to the early pursuit of education in larger urban centers of the state for their children. These returning children brought revolutionary changes to family and societal lifestyles. Unlike other villages in Banat, Vranjevo lived relatively comfortably, especially for the wealthier class of farmers and merchants whose children, upon returning from education, began to acquire a bourgeois status.

Although Vranjevo developed continuously from the mid-19th century, its progress was not linear because changes in the broader economic development of that part of Banat reflected on its own development. After the abolition of the Veliki Kikinda District in 1876 and its annexation to the Torontal County, Vranjevo, Karlovo (part of Novo Miloševo), Kumane, Melenci, and Taraš became part of the Novi Bečej district.

With the abolition of the District and the construction of the Segedin-Kikinda-Timișoara railway in the 1850s, as well as other railways in Banat, Vranjevo lost its significance in the grain trade. Warehouses were no longer of interest to places that were formerly part of the District. The transport of goods shifted from slower boat transport to faster and cheaper railway transport. Although Novi Bečej ceased to be the main export port and wheat trade center in the Austrian Empire, it still had importance in trading other goods since surrounding larger villages were annexed to it. Kikinda took the lead in trade, especially with the construction of the Veliki Bečkerek - Velika Kikinda railway in 1883.

The period from the late 19th century to World War I represented a time of intensive construction and development for Novi Bečej and Vranjevo, changing the appearance not only of the city center but also many surrounding streets. Many public buildings (schools, courts, banks and savings banks, hotels, and taverns) were built during this period, along with private houses of wealthier citizens that are preserved to this day. Industrial enterprises that existed in Vranjevo since 1869, starting with a brickyard, also contributed to the economic progress of the area. In addition to the brickyard, a brewery was built in 1910, along with two mills and rollers for flour production.

In 1896, Novi Bečej officially changed its name to Turkish Bečej, while Vranjevo had become "Arač" eight years earlier. These names remained until 1919 when their old names were restored.

In addition to changes in economic and business aspects, significant positive changes occurred in cultural life during this period. Important events in the cultural history of Vranjevo from the mid-19th century include the establishment of an amateur theater group, later the first Serbian professional theater in 1860, the founding of the Serbian Reading Room in 1879, the choir, and the organization of other cultural societies and associations that contributed to enriching social life and creating conditions for faster cultural progress in Vranjevo. Native Vranjevo residents who contributed to this progress include Jovan Knežević - Caca (1818-1863), who founded the first Serbian professional theater in Vranjevo, and Draginja Ružić Popović (1834-1903), the first Serbian professional actress. Dr. Jene Sentklarai (1843-1925), a scientist and academician, associate member of the Hungarian State Academy of Sciences and a member of the Serbian Learned Society, Josif Marinković (1851-1931), a composer, conductor, choir conductor, music professor, and associate member of the Serbian Royal Academy of Sciences since 1907, and Dr. Vladimir Glavaš.

Dr. Vladimir Glavaš was born in 1834 into a wealthy family in Vranjevo, from father Pavle (Pavel) and mother Persida, whose ancestors were Serbian border guards on the Potisje-Pomorišje military border. Since Vranjevo was the main center of Banat grain exports, many Vranjevo residents, including the Glavaš family, enriched themselves through trade. Vladimir's father, who traded in Pozun (Bratislava), where he sent his son to school, first attended the gymnasium in 1851 and the high school for the next two years. He studied law in the same city and received his doctorate on October 30, 1862, in Prague. During his studies, he often associated with the later famous Jovan Jovanović Zmaj. After completing his doctorate, he returned to his hometown of Vranjevo, where he attempted to practice law. He worked briefly as a lawyer because the profession did not align with his moral and life principles. After closing his office, he devoted himself to agriculture (farming) and lived in Vranjevo until his death.

He was a highly moral, honest, and humane man. He assisted the poor of Vranjevo with considerable income and food, as well as the national struggle of Serbs in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and Serbs in the Balkan region. Although he did not actively engage in politics, prominent figures such as Svetozar Miletić, Đura Jakšić, and painters Aleksići often visited his house. He never married. As a wealthy man, he invested his money in the oldest cultural institution of Serbs, Matica Srpska, of which he was a great benefactor and an honorary member. In the history of this institution, it is recorded that in 1901, he contributed a thousand crowns for its work and publishing activities. From 1906 onwards, he was one of 99 contributors, including foreign citizens such as Stevan Sremac, Pavle Aršinov, Andra Đorđević, and others, all from Belgrade. As a subscriber to all Matica's publications, he received a mandatory copy, but in 1907, seriously ill, he informed the bookkeeper Mladen Narancić from Stari Bečej that he should send a thousand crowns to Matica that year and asked him not to send him the obligatory copy anymore but to send it to the Teaching Council of the Vranjevo school.

He died in Vranjevo on February 3, 1909, as recorded in the death protocol - of heart disease. He was buried with great honors bestowed by the Church Board and the most prominent residents of Vranjevo at that time.

Dr. Glavaš bequeathed a part of his property with the house where he was born to the Serbian Orthodox Church Municipality in Vranjevo, making it its ownership after his death. The corresponding land and financial fund were intended for the education of talented students from Vranjevo.

The house of Vladimir Glavaš is located in the protected spatial-cultural historical unit "Old Center of Vranjevo." The boundaries of the unit include buildings at the intersection of Rajka Rakočević Street and Josif Marinković Street, as well as houses on the left and right sides of Josif Marinković Street from the intersection with Rajka Rakočević Street to number 73. This unit represents a rare, well-preserved old center of rural settlements organized according to administrative measures and laws of the 18th century in Vojvodina, with authentic typical buildings of the old municipality, school, tavern, and church.

The houses on the main Josif Marinković Street, where the Glavaš house is located, are mostly one-story, built mainly during the 19th century, with preserved authentic appearance and parcelization.

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