Culture
Vrsac is one of the oldest towns in Vojvodina. Long and rich tradition and turbulent past enriched this town’s cultural heritage.

When urban town was founded cultural life blossomed. During the past two centuries here lived many important and famous persons from cultural, art, political and scientific life. There were also numerous institutions and clubs and they both were very important for the town’s heritage.

During the past in the towns cultural life theatre and literature played a significant role. This rich heritage is well preserved even today through various art and literature clubs, painting colonies, museum exhibitions, theatre plays, library activities, multimedia presentations, numerous modern poets and writers etc.

Vrsac is impressive for its ancient architecture, both sacral and profane. “The town under the tower” follows modern urbanization but tends to keep its ancient core and architecture.
INSTITUTIONS
Vrsac is well-known for its important cultural institutions and rich cultural funds.
Museum - The town Museum of Vrsac preserves the town’s history. Exponents were started to collect in 1822 when Julijus Frish concluded on The Municipality meeting that museum foundation was necessary. The motif for that were findings of the ancient Roman money from Tsar Constantine (6th Century). It was of a great numismatic value. The well-known collector of archeological and numismatic material Eduard Ritinger was appointed by The Town’s Council to carry out archeological excavations.    

The town Museum of Vrsac was opened on October 26, 1898 and the main purpose was to collect and exhibit material from the town’s past. But later the collection included the whole area around the lower Danube. In 1905 the town bought the building for the Museum and Library. The Museum had archeological, numismatic, ethnological, natural and art collections.    

During the period of 1887 – 1942 at the Museum worked Felix Mileker. He devotedly worked on studies of archeological and historic material and about 300 his books were published. Before WW II has started the most important exponents were moved to the National Bank. After Felx Mileker died the Musem was closed and opened again after the liberation in 1945.

The Museum has several sections: for archeology, history, numismatic, ethnology, nature and art. There are about 250 000 exponents. Buildings “Konkordija” and” Pharmacy on stairs” became also parts of the Museum. At the “Pharmacy on stairs” are permanent exhibitions “The History of Health Care in Banat”, “Paja Jovanovic”.
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Libraries - In 1887 Public and School Library was opened and today it is The Town Library. The founder and the first librarian was Felix Mileker. By 1974 library and museum were working as one institution, but after that period these two cultural institutions were separated. After seven different addresses in 1950 The Town Library was located in Svetosavski trg 2 and here has been until today.

It was written that in 1820 a religious reading room was founded, in 1846 Serbian reading room and Public reading room and in 1886 Teachers Library was founded. The most important activity of these libraries had educational function as here were held various lectures. They also have had an important social function as they organized parties and excursions.

There were also several German and Hungarian libraries for local people. It is worth mentioning that at the time there were some very rich private libraries (Josip Novak’s, the family Cijuk’s, Djordje Nesic’s, actor Andra Lukic’s).

The oldest book in the Town Library dates back to 1496. Among the oldest are also books from Sterija’s private library, Dositej Obradovic’s fables, Nomocanon (printed in Lavovo in 1646), Shariat law (which was left in Vrsac by Turks).

The Town Library has Children’s section, Adult’s section and reading room. There are: fiction, books for children, specialized books, old books, such a German, Hungarian, Romanian, English, Russian, and French books. These rich funds of books use also people from near by municipalities (Bela Crkva, Plandiste and Alibunar).
Cinemas - “The Panorama” came from late 18th century England. They were huge pictures on a cylindrical surface and viewed from the inside. Later on the technique was developed and the pictures were moving. Panoramas in Vrsac were shown from 1866 till 1905.

In 1897 Anton Joef Albah offered in his panorama-café “At the grapevines” pictures together with songs performed by opera diva Sultana Cijuk.

In July in 1897 local newspaper announced the show of sensational moving pictures “cinematograph” and Karlo Bruni showed on Edison’s cinematograph movies “Family scene”, Process” and The Bicycler”.

In 1910 in Vrsac was opened regular cinema owned by A.Schisler (“At the grapevines”) and at the end of the same year another cinema was opened (at the hotel “Barosh”) owned by Anton Galambosh.

Over the years new cinemas were opened and the old ones were closed. In late 20th century in Vrsac were two cinemas.

Since 2006 Vrsac has two cinemas “Cinema club” (at the Cultural centre) and “Millennium” (at the Congress and music hall).
pozoriste.jpgTheatre - The first theatre play was performed in 1773 by Romanian actors from Timisoara.

In 1847 hotel “Konkordija” was opened and it had a spacious hall for concerts and theatre plays. In 1861 in Vrsac was formed Serbian national theatre with 170 members and it worked until the beginning of the WW I (y. 1914).

In 1920 Ministry of Education, headed by writer Branislav Nusic, concluded that professional theatre was to be open in Banat and Vrsac was the right choice. The first director was Mihajlo Hadzi Dimic.

During the WW II the theatre was closed until January 2, 1945 when the National theatre “Sterija” was founded.

In the two hundred years since its foundation, in 1993, the theatre has organized international “The Festival of Classic Theatre”.
Print and publishing - When Edvard Kirhner in 1856 opened print office Vrsac publishing activities started. The print office worked until 1942. The second print office”Vetla and Veronica” was opened in 1881. The third print office was opened in 1890 by Milan Kosanovic. In this period the number of print offices increased and in 1918 there were about twenty and all of them printed in several languages, some of them even in Hebraic. In 1898 there were 12 weekly newspapers.

These circumstances were very good for development of publishing. The first newspaper in Vrsac was “"Werschetzer Gebirgsbote" and the first Serbian n espaper in Vrsac was “Vrsacka kula” (1867).

Publishing in Vrsac after the WW II was in Romanian and in Serbian started in 1960’s.
KOV is publishing company that brings together authors and graphic artist with readers. Any citizen can be a member of the KOV and honor members amongst the others are: Sangvineti, Marc Strend, Milorad Pavic, H.M.Encensberger, Miodrag Pavlovic, Charles Simic, Michael Degi, Stefan Augustine Dojnas, Tadeus Ruzevic, Alen Ginzberg.
Literatture - Literary life in Vrsac started in mid 18th century. The Bishop of Vrsac Jovan Georgijevic wrote poetry and Joahim Hedl wrote poms in Latin and German at the end of 18th century.

Jovan Sterija Popovic (1806-1856) is certainly one of the most famous persons born in Vrsac. He is very important for Serbian literature and he is named "the father of serbian drama". He made the breakthrough as a writer of comedies describing time and atmosphere around him. Characters Kir Janja, Fema, Ruzicic, Vinko Lozic became smbols of his home town.

Doctor Gavrilo Pekarovic wrote nice poems but he is mostly remembered by his book about child care "Cedoljuba" (frst of that kind in Serbia).

In 19th century it was founded a Club of Young Writers "Serbian Banat Harmonq" and that one of the first literary clubs in the country. The most popular writers from Vrsac are Laza Nancic, Jasa Tomic, Dusan Malusev, Stevan Benin, and the poet Vasko Popa.
Art and painting - The first famous painters from Vrsac were traditional “zografos” Nedeljko Popovic and Vasilije Nedeljkovic (who was even signed s Zografos from Vrsac). Far more popular was Nikola Neskovic, Sterija’s grandfather, who was invited by the Bishop of Vrsac Jovan Georgijevic to move to Vrsac. His most popular works are: Iconostasis at The Residence of Banat Episcopacy and many icons but he also handwrote and illuminated paraklis at the Visoki Decani Monastery. At the late 18th century in Vrsac worked famous Serbian baroque artists: Teodor Ilic-Cesljar and Teodor Kracun.

In 19th century in Vrsac worked Pavle Djurkovic (iconostasis at the Central Serbian Orthodox Church in Vrsac), Arsenije Teodorovic (iconostasis at the Little Church), Aksentije Jankovic (famous portrait artist of Serbian classicism) and Romanian painter Nicolae Popescu. Paja Jovanovic (1859 – 1957) is representative of academic realism; he has painted motifs from real life, national history and religion. He became most famous by his paintings of portraits and he was awarded any times. His painting “Triptych” is memorable picture of his home town.

In early 20th century most famous painters were: Ivan Radovic, Svetislav Vukovic and Karel Napravnik.

Now there is a Young Artist Club “Paja Jovanovic” in Vrsac.
Vrsac Culture and Education Union was founded in 1959 as n independent and non-political organization with the main purpose to develop culture in the town.

Vrsac is multicultural town and there are 10 cultural and artistic associations in Vrsac and Romanian villages. Members preserve its culture, language and national identity through music and folklore dance. There is also an amateur theater. Hungarians and ethnic Roms have their own clubs.

Vrsac Culture and Education Unionn organizes the International Folklore Dance Festival “Vrsacki venac” and it is a member of the International Organization of Folklore dance Festivals and national tradition CIOFE.    
Cultural and artistic associations in Vrsac are:
“Zarko Zrenjanin”,
“Lucafarul”,
“Petefi Sandor”,
“Penzioner”,
“Grozd”

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