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Óbecse Városháza.JPG
Óbecse szórakozóhely.JPG
Srpska pravoslavna crkva Svetog Đorđa u Bečeju 07.jpg
Дворац Фантаст у атару Бечеја.jpg
Tehnička škola Bečej 03.jpg
From top: Town Hall, Old Windmill, Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint George, The Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Fantast Castle, Technical College
Coat of arms of Bečej
Coat of arms
Location of the municipality of Bečej within Serbia
Location of the municipality of Bečej within Serbia
Coordinates: 45°37′N 20°02′E / 45.617°N 20.033°E / 45.617; 20.033Coordinates: 45°37′N 20°02′E / 45.617°N 20.033°E / 45.617; 20.033
Country Serbia
DistrictSouth Bačka
 • MayorVuk Radojević
 • Municipality487 km2 (188 sq mi)
82 m (269 ft)
 (2011 census)[2]
 • Town
 • Municipality
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code+381 21
Car plates

Bečej (Serbian: Бечеј / Bečej, pronounced [bɛ̌tʃɛːj], Hungarian: Óbecse, pronounced [ˈoːbɛt͡ʃɛ]) is a town and municipality located in the South Bačka District of the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. The town has a population of 23,895, while the municipality has 37,351 inhabitants. It is a multiethnic town, predominantly inhabited by Serbs and Hungarians.


Bečej was mentioned first during the administration of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1091 under Latin name Bechey[3] and later in 1238 under Hungarian name Becse.[citation needed] Name probably originated from Bechey family that had possessions in this area.[4] In the 15th century (from 1419 to 1441) the town was a possession of the Serbian despot Đurađ Branković. In the end of the 15th century, army of the Kingdom of Hungary led by Serbian despot Vuk Grgurević (Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk) defeated the Ottoman army near Bečej.[4] In 1551, an Ottoman army led by Mehmed paša Sokolović conquered the town.[4] Bečej was administered by the Ottomans between 1551 and 1687 (nominally to 1699) and was part of the Sanjak of Segedin, which was initially in Budin eyalet, latterly in Eğri Eyalet.[5] In Ottoman Turkish it was known as "Beçe".

In the end of the 17th century the Ottoman administration was replaced by Habsburg one and settlement was populated by ethnic Serbs from Banat who ran away from the Ottoman Empire. Between 1702 and 1751, the town belonged to the Tisza-Maros section of the Habsburg Military Frontier. After the abolishment of this part of the Frontier in 1751, many Serbs that lived in the town emigrated to Russia (notably to New Serbia and Slavo-Serbia). They founded a new settlement with name Bečej in New Serbia. To prevent this emigration, the Habsburg authorities formed autonomous District of Potisje with seat in Becse. District of Potisje existed between 1751 and 1848. The three privileges were given to the district in 1759, 1774 and 1800. First privilege of the District defined its autonomous status, while the second one allowed ethnic Hungarians to settle in the district. In the following period many Hungarians settled in Becse (the first ones in 1757[6]) and they replaced Serbs as a dominant nation in the town. In 1751, the entire population of the town was composed of Serbs, while in 1774 half of the population was composed of Serbs and another half was composed of Hungarians.[4] According to the 1910 census, the population of Becse municipality numbered 54,275 people, of whom 30,465 spoke Hungarian and 22,821 Serbian. The town of Becse had 19,372 inhabitants in 1910, of which 12,488 spoke Hungarian (64.46%), 6,582 Serbian (33.98%) and 193 German (1%).[7]

Serb elementary school in Becse was opened in 1703 and it is one of the oldest schools in Vojvodina[4] as well as the first elementary school among Serbs.[8] Hungarian elementary school was opened in Bečej in 1765, while Jewish elementary school was opened in 1882. Serb reading house was opened in 1862, while Hungarian reading house was opened in 1869.

Since 1918, Bečej was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and subsequent South Slavic states. During the Hungarian Axis occupation, in the 1942 raid, 215 inhabitants of the town were murdered by Hungarian forces, of whom 111 were men, 72 women, 13 children, and 19 old people.[9] By nationality, victims included 110 Jews, 102 Serbs, and 1 Hungarian.[9]

Inhabited places[edit]

Map of Bečej municipality

Bečej municipality includes the town of Bečej and the following villages:

Note: for settlements with absolute or relative Hungarian majority names are also given in Hungarian.

There are also several sub-settlements in the municipality, including:

  • Poljanice (Hungarian: Pecesor)
  • Novo Selo
  • Drljan


Street in Bečej and The Saint Anthony Padovanian Catholic Church

Bečej is an ethnically mixed town and municipality. Settlements with a Hungarian ethnic majority are: Bačko Petrovo Selo and Mileševo. There is one settlement with a Serb ethnic majority: Radičević. Two settlements: Bečej and Bačko Gradište are ethnically mixed.

The ethnic composition of the municipality:[10]

Ethnic group Population
Hungarians 17,309
Serbs 15,451
Roma 842
Croats 301
Yugoslavs 287
Montenegrins 107
Albanians 81
Muslims 79
Macedonians 49
Slovaks 45
Germans 38
Others 2,761
Total 37,351


The following table gives a preview of total number of employed people per their core activity (as of 2017):[11]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 878
Mining 14
Processing industry 2,024
Distribution of power, gas and water 65
Distribution of water and water waste management 128
Construction 183
Wholesale and retail, repair 1,237
Traffic, storage and communication 352
Hotels and restaurants 174
Media and telecommunications 85
Finance and insurance 122
Property stock and charter 14
Professional, scientific, innovative and technical activities 407
Administrative and other services 161
Administration and social assurance 430
Education 635
Healthcare and social work 506
Art, leisure and recreation 89
Other services 139
Total 7,642

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Bečej is twinned with:


Bečej is famous for its water polo club VK Bečej which won LEN Champions League in 2000. when the city of Bečej was the host of Final Four.

See also[edit]


  • Slobodan Ćurčić, Broj stanovnika Vojvodine, Novi Sad, 1996.
  • Zvonimir Golubović, Racija u južnoj Bačkoj 1942. godine, Novi Sad, 1991.
  • Jovan Mirosavljević, Brevijar ulica Novog Sada 1745-2001, Novi Sad, 2002.


  1. ^ "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  2. ^ "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Serbia: Comparative Overview of the Number of Population in 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2002 and 2011, Data by settlements" (PDF). Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2014. ISBN 978-86-6161-109-4. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Körmendi Ferenc". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Internet prezentacija Beceja i Novog Beceja - Istorija Beceja". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Dr Slobodan Ćurčić, Naselja Bačke - geografske karakteristike, Novi Sad, 2007, page 243.
  7. ^ Óbecse. Révai nagy lexikona, vol. 14. p. 627. Hungarian Electronic Library. (in Hungarian).
  8. ^ "Južnobački Okrug Srbija, Vodič kroz Srbiju, Go Serbia, Srbija na". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  9. ^ a b Zvonimir Golubović, Racija u Južnoj Bačkoj 1942. godine, Novi Sad, 1992, page 147.
  10. ^ "Попис становништва, домаћинстава и станова 2011. у Републици Србији" (PDF). Republički zavod za statistiku. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  11. ^ ОПШТИНЕ И РЕГИОНИ У РЕПУБЛИЦИ СРБИЈИ, 2018. (PDF). (in Serbian). Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. Retrieved 17 March 2019.

External links[edit]