Vršac (Serbian Cyrillic: Вршац pronounced [ʋr̩̂ʃat͡s])
is a city located in the
South Banat District
South Banat District of the autonomous
province of Vojvodina, Serbia. As of 2011, the city urban area has a
population of 35,701, while the city administrative area has 52,026
inhabitants. It is located in the geographical region of Banat.
3 Inhabited places
4.1 Ethnic groups
5 Economy and industry
7 Tourist destinations
9 Famous residents
10 International relations
10.2 Twin towns — sister cities
12 Further reading
13 External links
Vršac is of Serbian origin. It derived from the Slavic word
vrh, meaning "summit". 
In Serbian, the city is known as Вршац or Vršac, in Romanian as
Vârșeț, in Hungarian as Versec or Versecz, in German as Werschetz,
and in Turkish as Virșac or Verşe.
There are traces of human settlement in this area from paleolithic and
neolithic times. Remains from two types of neolithic cultures have
been discovered in the area: an older one, known as the Starčevo
culture, and a newer one, known as the Vinča culture. From the Bronze
Age, there are traces of the
Vatin culture and
Vršac culture, while
from the Iron Age, there are traces of the
Hallstatt culture and La
Tène culture (which is largely associated with the Celts).
Agathyrsi (people of mixed Scythian-Thracian origin) are the first
people known to have lived in this region. Later, the region was
Getae and Dacians. It belonged to the Dacian kingdoms of
Burebista and Decebalus, and then to the
Roman Empire from 102 to 271.
In Vršac, archaeologists have found traces of ancient Dacian and
Roman settlements. Later, the region belonged to the Empire of the
Huns, the Gepid and Avar kingdoms, and the Bulgarian Empire.
Slavs settled in this region in the 6th century, and the Slavic
tribe known as the
Abodrites (Bodriči) was recorded as living in the
Slavs from the region were Christianized during the rule of
Ahtum in the 11th century. When duke
Ahtum was defeated by
the Kingdom of Hungary, the region was included in the latter state.
Information about the early history of the town is scant. According to
Serbian historians, medieval
Vršac was founded and inhabited by Serbs
in 1425, although it was under administration of the Kingdom of
Hungary. The original name of the town is unknown. There are several
theories that its first name was Vers, Verbeč, Veršet or Vegenje,
but these theories are not confirmed. The name of the town appears for
the first time in 1427 in the form Podvršan.  The Hungarian 12th
century chronicle known as
Gesta Hungarorum mention the castle of
Vrscia in Banat, which belonged to Romanian duke Glad in the 9th
century. According to some interpretations, Vrscia is identified with
modern Vršac, while according to other opinions, it is identified
with Orşova. According to some claims, the town was at first in the
possession of the Hungarian kings, and later became
property of a Hungarian aristocrat, Miklós Peréyi, ban of
Severin. In the 15th century, the town was in the
possession of the Serbian despot Đurađ Branković.  According to
some claims, it was donated to the despot by Hungarian king Sigismund
in 1411. According to other sources,
was built by
Đurađ Branković after the fall of Smederevo.
The Ottomans destroyed the town in the 16th century, but it was soon
rebuilt under Ottoman administration. In 1590/91, the Ottoman garrison
Vršac fortress was composed of one aga, two Ottoman officers and
20 Serb mercenaries. The town was seat of the local Ottoman
authorities and of the Serbian bishop. In this time, its population
was composed of
Muslims and Serbs.
In 1594, the
Serbs in the
Banat started large uprising against Ottoman
Vršac region was centre of this uprising. The leader of the
uprising was Teodor Nestorović, the bishop of Vršac. The size of
this uprising is illustrated by the verse from one Serbian national
song: "Sva se butum zemlja pobunila, Šest stotina podiglo se sela,
Svak na cara pušku podigao!" ("The whole land has rebelled, a six
hundred villages arose, everybody pointed his gun against the
The Serb rebels bore flags with the image of Saint Sava, thus the
rebellion had a character of a holy war. The Sinan-paša that lead the
Ottoman army ordered that green flag of
Muhammad should be brought
Damascus to confront this flag with image of Saint Sava.
Furthermore, the Sinan-paša also burned the mortal remains of Saint
Sava in Belgrade, as a revenge to the Serbs. Eventually, the uprising
was crushed and most of the
Serbs from the region escaped to
Transylvania fearing the Ottoman retaliation. However, since the Banat
region became deserted after this, which alarmed the Ottoman
authorities who needed people in this fertile land, the authorities
promised to spare everyone who came back. The Serb population came
back, but the amnesty did not apply to the leader of the rebellion,
Bishop Teodor Nestorović, who was flayed as a punishment. The Banat
uprising was one of the three largest uprisings in Serbian history and
the largest before the
First Serbian Uprising
First Serbian Uprising led by Karađorđe.
Vršac passed from Ottoman to Habsburg control, and the
Muslim population fled the town. In this time,
Vršac was mostly
populated by Serbs, and in the beginning of the Habsburg rule, its
population numbered 75 houses. Soon, German colonists started to
settle here. They founded a new settlement known as Werschetz, which
was located near the old (Serbian) Vršac. Serbian
Vršac was governed
by a knez, and German Werschetz was governed by a schultheis (mayor).
The name of the first Serbian knez in
Vršac in 1717 was Jovan Crni.
In 1795, the two towns, Serbian
Vršac and German Werschetz, were
officially joined into one single settlement, in which the authority
was shared between
Serbs and Germans. It was occupied by Ottomans
between 1787-1788 during Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792).
The 1848/1849 revolution disrupted the good relations between Serbs
and Germans, since
Serbs fought on the side of the Austrian
Germans fought on the side of the Hungarian
revolutionaries. In 1848-1849, the town was part of autonomous Serbian
Vojvodina, and from 1849 to 1860, it was part of the Voivodeship of
Serbia and Temes Banat, a separate Austrian province. After the
abolition of the voivodship,
Vršac was included in
Temes County of
the Kingdom of Hungary, which became one of two autonomous parts of
Austria-Hungary in 1867. The town was also a district seat. In 1910,
the population of the town numbered 27,370 inhabitants, of whom 13,556
spoke German language, 8,602 spoke Serbian, 3,890 spoke Hungarian and
879 spoke Romanian. On the other side, the Diocese of Vršac
Romanians in 1847.
From 1918, the town was part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs,
Croats and Slovenes (later renamed Yugoslavia). According to the 1921
census, speakers of
German language were most numerous in the town,
while the 1931 census recorded 13,425 speakers of Yugoslav languages
and 11,926 speakers of German language. During the Axis occupation
Vršac was part of autonomous
Banat region within the
area governed by the Military Administration in Serbia. Many Danube
Swabians collaborated with the
Nazi authorities and many men were
conscripted into the Waffen SS. Letters were sent to German men
requesting their "voluntary service" or they would face court martial.
In 1944, one part of
Vršac citizens of German ethnicity left from the
city, together with defeated German army. Those who remained in
Vršac were sent to local communist prison camps, where some of them
died from disease and malnutrition. According to some claims, some
were tortured or killed by the partisans. Since 1944
when it was liberated by the Red Army's 46th Army, the town was part
of the new Socialist Yugoslavia. After prison camps were dissolved (in
1948) and Yugoslav citizenship was returned to the Germans, the
remaining German population left Yugoslavia due to being forced out by
the Russians. Homes that had been in their families for decades were
simply taken over by the Serbs.
Vršac was granted city status in February 2016.
Map of the city of Vršac
The city of
Vršac includes the settlement of
Vršac and the following
Vojvodinci (Romanian: Voivodinţ)
Jablanka (Romanian: Iabuca)
Kuštilj (Romanian: Coştei)
Mali Žam (Romanian: Jamu Mic)
Malo Središte (Romanian: Srediştea Mică)
Markovac (Romanian: Mărcovăţ, Mărculești))
Mesić (Romanian: Mesici)
Orešac (Romanian: Oreşaţ)
Pavliš (Romanian: Păuliş)
Parta (Romanian Parța)
Ritiševo (Romanian: Râtişor)
Sočica (Romanian: Sălciţa)
Straža (Romanian: Straja)
Šušara (Hungarian: Fejértelep)
Note: For the places with Romanian and Hungarian ethnic majorities,
the names are also given in the language of the concerned ethnic
Map of local communities in urban Vršac
According to the 2011 census, the total population of the city of
Vršac was 52,026 inhabitants.
Within the city, the settlements with a Serb ethnic majority are:
Vršac (the city itself), Vatin, Veliko Središte, Vlajkovac,
Vršački Ritovi, Gudurica, Zagajica, Izbište, Pavliš, Parta,
Potporanj, and Uljma. The settlements with a Romanian ethnic majority
are: Vojvodinci, Jablanka, Kuštilj, Mali Žam, Malo Središte,
Markovac, Mesić, Ritiševo, Sočica, and Straža.
Šušara has a
Hungarian ethnic majority (Seklers collonised from Bukowina during the
World War I), while Orešac is an ethnically mixed settlement with a
Vršac is the seat of the Serb Orthodox Eparchy of Banat. Some of the
Serb cultural-artistic societies in
Vršac are named "Laza Nančić",
"Penzioner" and "Grozd". The city's Romanian minority have a
Romanian-language theater, schools and a museum. Romanian-language
instruction takes place at a kindergarten, an elementary school, a
high school and a teachers' university. The cultural organization and
folklore group "Luceafarul" hold many cultural events in
nearby Romanian-populated villages. In 2005,
Romania opened a
consulate in Vršac.
The population of the city (52,026 people) is composed of the
following ethnic groups (2011 census):
Economy and industry
Vršac is a city famous for well-developed industry, especially
pharmaceuticals, wine and beer, confectioneries and textiles. The
leading pharmaceutical company in
Vršac (and nationwide) is the
Hemofarm, which helped start the city's Technology Park.
Vršac is considered to be one of the most significant centers of
agriculture in the region of southern Banat, which is the southern
part of the province of Vojvodina. It is mainly because it has 54,000
hectares of arable and extremely fertile land in its possession.
The city itself together with 22 surrounding communities has some
52,000 residents, whose lives are closely connected with agriculture.
The following table gives a preview of total number of employed people
per their core activity (as of 2016):
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
Distribution of power, gas and water
Distribution of water and water waste management
Wholesale and retail, repair
Traffic, storage and communication
Hotels and restaurants
Media and telecommunications
Finance and insurance
Property stock and charter
Professional, scientific, innovative and technical activities
Administrative and other services
Administration and social assurance
Healthcare and social work
Art, leisure and recreation
Railways in the
to Ban. Jasenovo
State Road 10 (which is part of European route E70) connects
Belgrade and to the nearby border with Romania.
Vršac is also connected to
Belgrade by the Srbija voz railway line
44, and with a local train to Timişoara.
The Millennium sport center, opened in early-April 2001, is located in
Vršac. The region around
Vršac is famed for its vineyards.
The symbol of the town is the
Vršac Castle (Vršačka kula), which
dates back to the mid 15th century. It stands at the top of the hill
(399m) overlooking Vršac.
There are two theories about origin of this fortress. According to the
Turkish traveler, Evliya Çelebi, the fortress was built by the
Serbian despot Đurađ Branković. The historians consider that
Branković built the fortress after the fall of
Smederevo in 1439. 
The fortress in its construction had some architectural elements
similar to those in the fortress of
Smederevo or in the fortress
around monastery Manasija.
The other theory claim that
Vršac Castle is a remain of the medieval
fortress known as Erdesumulu (Hungarian: Érdsomlyó or Érsomlyó,
Serbian: Erd-Šomljo / Ерд-Шомљо or Šomljo / Шомљо).
However, the other sources do not identify Erdesumulu with Vršac, but
claim that these two were separate settlements and that location of
town and fortress of Erdesumulu was further to the east, on the Karaš
River, in present-day Romanian Banat.
There are two Serbian Orthodox monasteries in the city: Mesić
monastery from the 13th century and Središte monastery, which is
currently under construction.
The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, completed in 1728.
The Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, completed in 1912.
The Roman Catholic Church, completed in 1863.
One of interesting places to visit in
Vršac is the family winery,
Vinik, which produces the Vržole Red, Vržole White and Bermetto
Vršac town center
Saint Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Vršac
Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, Vršac
The Chapel Hill with the new Orthodox church and the old Exaltation of
the Holy Cross Catholic Church.
The St. Gerhard Bishop and Martyr Catholic Church
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Catholic Church by night.
Vrsac tower pictured from a nearby hill
Millennium sport center
Vinik winery in Vršac
See also: Category:People from Vršac.
Marie von Augustin (1807–1886), Austrian female writer (de)
Dragiša Brašovan, Serbian modernist architect
Sultana Cijuk, an opera singer
József Dietrich (1852–1884), Hungarian geographer and chemist of
German (Danube Swabian) descent
Robert Hammerstiel (born 1933), painter, artist (de)
Ferenc Herczeg (1863–1954), Hungarian writer
Milan Jovanović, photographer
Paja Jovanović (1859–1957), famous Serbian painter
Boris Kostić, chess player
Felix Milleker, curator and first director of City Museum
Dragan Mrđa, Serbian football player
Teodor Nestorović, the bishop of
Vršac and leader of the Serb
Banat in 1594
Nikola Nešković (1739–1775), Serbian painter
Vasko Popa, ethnic Romanian poet
Jovan Sterija Popović
Jovan Sterija Popović (1806–1856), Serbian playwright, dramatist,
comediographer, and pedagogue of mixed Aromanian-Serb descent
Nedeljko Popović Serba, painter
Döme Sztójay (native name: Dimitrije Stojaković; 1883–1946),
Hungarian Prime Minister and diplomat of Serb descent
Zorana Todorović (1989-), basketball player
Jenő Vincze (1908–1988), Hungarian international football player,
most famous for playing for the Hungarian national team in the 1938
World Cup Final
Nikola Cuculj (1958-), Wine maker of famous Vrzole wine and Great
Knight of "
Banat Wine Order St. Theodor"
József Wodetzky (1872–1956), Hungarian astronomer of Polish
Tamara Radočaj (1987-), Serbian basketball player, Olympic bronze
medalist and European champion
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Serbia
Romanian Consulate General, Vršac
Twin towns — sister cities
Vršac is twinned with:
Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
^ Dušan Belča, Mala istorija Vršca, Vršac, 1997, page 38.
^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 July 2011.
Retrieved 29 April 2011.
^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July
2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
^ Dušan Belča, Mala istorija Vršca, Vršac, 1997, page 48.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 March 2006.
Retrieved 27 March 2007.
^ http://www.megaupload.com/?d=YKE9MH4B[permanent dead link]
^ Dragomir Jankov,
Vojvodina – propadanje jednog regiona, Novi Sad,
2004, page76, Quotation (English translation): "After the war,
Vojvodina (where about 350,000 of them lived)
was confiscated. Most of the
Germans (about 200,000) left from
Vojvodina together with German army....About 140,000
Germans was sent
^ Nenad Stefanović, Jedan svet na Dunavu, Beograd, 2003, pages
Vršac dobili status grada" [Pirot,
Vršac Granted City Status]. B92. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 26 June
^ "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic
of Serbia" (PDF). stat.gov.rs. Statistical Office of the Republic of
Serbia. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
^ 1ROMANII%20DIN%20BANATUL%20SARBESC.doc "Românii din Banatul
Sârbesc"[permanent dead link]
^ "comunitatea-romanilor.org.rs". www.comunitatea-romanilor.org.rs.
Retrieved 1 April 2018.
^ (in Romanian) Anca Alexe, "Consulat Nou" ("New Consulate"), Jurnalul
Național, 22 January 2005
^ "Population by ethnicity". Republic of
Serbia Republic Statistical
Office. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
^ "ОПШТИНЕ И РЕГИОНИ У РЕПУБЛИЦИ
СРБИЈИ, 2017" (PDF). stat.gov.rs (in Serbian). Statistical
Office of the Republic of Serbia. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
^ "Saborna crkva u Vršcu". travel.rs. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 1
^ Sărbătoare românească la hramul catedralei din Vârşeţ
^ Biserica – Catedrala Înălţarea Domnului din Vârşeţ −
monument al artei bizantine Archived 30 April 2010 at the Wayback
^ "Rimokatolička crkva u Vršcu". travel.rs. 14 November 2009.
Retrieved 1 April 2018.
Dušan Belča, Mala istorija Vršca, Vršac, 1997.
Dr. Dušan J. Popović, Srbi u Vojvodini, knjige 1-3, Novi Sad, 1990.
Slobodan Ćurčić, Broj stanovnika Vojvodine, Novi Sad, 1996.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vršac.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Vršac.
Govor slike - Vršački sajt
Vršac - Electronic Banat
Romanian organizations - Number of
Romanians in Banat[permanent dead
Cities, towns and villages in the South
Banatsko Novo Selo
(*) bold are municipalities or cities
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Municipalities and cities of Southern and Eastern Serbia
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