Zrenjanin

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Zrenjanin (Serbian: Зрењанин or Zrenjanin, Hungarian: Nagy Becskerek, Romanian: Becicherecul Mare, Slovak: Zreňanin) is a city located in Serbia and Montenegro (in Serbian northern province Vojvodina) at 45.37° North, 20.40° East. It is the administrative center of the Central Banat okrug of Serbia. In 2003, the city's population was 79,800.

History

The town of (Veliki) Bečkerek / (Nagy) Becskerek was first settled in the 14th century, the first mention of it dates from 1326. The merchant city on the Begej river became a property of the Serbian prince Stefan Lazarević in the 14th century. It then passed to Hungary until 1551 when it was occupied by the Ottoman Empire.

In 1716 it passed to Austria and it developed significantly by Maria Theresia's order of 1769. Zrenjanin got a theatre hall in 1839 and a gymnasium in 1846, as well as a City Hall in 1820 and the Palace of Justice in 1908.

After World War I, it became part of Yugoslavia. In 1935 it was renamed to Petrovgrad in honour of king Peter I of Yugoslavia.

Zrenjanin got its present name in 1946 in honour of the revolutionary hero Žarko Zrenjanin Uča (1902-1942). Žarko Zrenjanin was a leader of the Vojvodina Communists and wartime Partisans who during the World War II endured torture and months of incarceration by the Nazis, was released and later killed while trying to escape recapture.

Zrenjanin is the largest city in the Serbian Banat and was once its administrative center (of the old Torontal county in Hungary).pl:Zrenjanin ro:Becicherecul Mare

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