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Architectural Jewel of Kikinda, year 2005.

The facades with beautiful architectural details, roofs, windows, doors, towers and turrets, atticas, balconies ... all for themselves are an architectural jewel.

This book is a contribution to the preservation of only one segment of architectural beauty of Kikinda – its doors. Full or partial glass doors with their decorative wrought iron protection in  floral or geometric styles that astonish. Thanks to the artisan’s perfection of craft,  a sense of harmony is achieved in their proportion and synthesis with other elements of architecture, art and creativity.

The book specifically addresses „ajnforts“. „Ajnfort“ (adopted and modified from German word "Einfahrt" - covered horse-carriage entrance to the yard; a large entrance gate through which a car can pass; a large entrance hall) and the front doors are one of the most important details of each home. The guests, relatives and friends come through „ajnforts“ or large gates. The „ajnforts“ are their first encounter with the house, they are a boundary between public and private, the keepers of privacy, a sign and symbol of hospitality, protection from ill-wishers, they are personal mark of the house owner, and are significant functional and personalised part of facade of each home, each one being unique.


The door handles are an important detail, and are given special attention in the workmanship. With large dimension „ajnforts“ (usually 3-4,5 m) oppulence was achieved. They are a kind of artistic mark of the builder. Eclectically modified forms of historical styles were used: neoclassicism, Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque, and most often their very successful combination, Secession.

Our architects educated abroad (Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Budapest), searched for their architectural expression in the experience acquired during their studies or wanted to give a national reference to the applied styles. Even today, when inventing new content for this space according to our contemporary needs, lets not forget:

The city is older than its inhabitants.

It gets older and rejuvenates at the crossroads of

memory and ambition ... it is actually a wish that

the past and the future find themselves in the present, and preserve in the harmony of tolerance, dignity, progress and hope in the glory of unity of diversity.

 BELA DURANCI, Art Historian, Subotica


Journal no. 4, topic number, year 2007.

Topic of the issue: Architects Milan and Djordje Tabakovic, Facilities in Kikinda

Architects Milan and Djordje Tabaković, the father and son, worked in Vojvodina at the turn of the centuries (19th and 20th century), hence their architecture shows characteristics of the trends in the architecture of Europe of that time: Milan’s – Neo-Styles, Djordje’s Modern styles. Djordje Tabakovic, one of the pioneers of Modern in our country belongs to the brilliant array of our architects of that time. They were born in Arad, in an environment that nurtured arts and culture.

The family's creativity streak produced generations of architects and artists. It is a great rarity, even outside Serbia, to have a very rich and continuing family tradition in architecture. The fourth generation of architects in Tabaković family being the children of Milan Tabakovic's sisters. One of them is a famous architect, Dr.  Predrag - Pedja Ristic.

As  skilled and well-known architects, Milan and Djordje Tabakovic, worked on various projects in our cities and left deep traces in architecture of Vojvodina and Banat (Serbian and Romanian Banat). Their buildings adorn Banat and Vojvodina. Objects that they worked on in Kikinda are a part of their rich architectural legacy. These are:

• Milan Tabaković:

LEPEDAT palace, 41 Kralja Petra I Street

NATIONAL INDUSTRIES BANK (now the tax administration office), 34 Srpskih Dobrovoljaca Square

Cinema "Olympia" (today's Market R), 38 Kralja Petra I Street

• Djordje Tabaković:

«Sokolana» Gymnasium (now "Partizan" centre), 23 Srpskih Dobrovoljaca Square

Boarding house for students of Holy Trinity monastery, (now part of primary school Đura Jakšić), 16 Svetozara Miletica street

Parochial house of the Serbian Orthodox church, 5 Generala Drapšina street

Giving deserved recognition to Djordje Tabaković, an excellent architect, pioneer of Serbian modern architecture and a prominent developer in Novi Sad and Vojvodina, the Association of Architects of Novi Sad established «Tabaković Award» for Architecture in 1994 for awarding its members, individuals, and architects from the territory of Vojvodina, for superior architectural achievements which have influenced the development of architecture, its social role and significance in Vojvodina.

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Years of Urban and Architectural Development, 2002.

The book - KIKINDA, CENTURIES ARE PASSING BY -  THE CITY REMAINS, 250 Years of Urban and Architectural Development is about urban and architectural expansion in Kikinda from its beginning until today (a period of more than 250 years) as a planned urban village with orthogonal matrix recognizable as a „one-road“ village. The book provides plenty of information about the organisation and planned urban development through comparative indicators, compliance with laws and important dates of its urban development. Saved maps and plans from the 19th and 20th century, little known to the public, illustrate urban development of this typically flat city in Vojvodina. The basic plan disposition of the city is categorised and contained in Mersies plan from the 18th century. It is reflected in the following:

   • proper orthogonal scheme of the street network. The streets are spacious, straight, longitudinal and transversal. Street sections are correctly dimensioned: width of the longitudinal street is 18-20 catches (25 to 40 m) and transversal 6-8. The middle longitudinal street is the widest and is considered the main. The city centre is on main street.

   • streets form straight blocks, blocks are divided into almost identical plots of land which represent the basic spatial module. Larger plots are possible. Their width is approximately the doubled width of basic module.

   • longitudinal streets direct orientation of housing, transversal streets separate blocks, the position and shape of the house on the plot is precisely defined.

   • houses are placed on a regulation line to protect from fire spreading, according to the principle: house-yard, house-yard (all the buildings were covered with reed that was in abundance in Banat), differentiation of housing by its purpose didn’t exist

   • village has it’s center

   • the center requires: a square, a church, municipal building, school, parochial and teachers home and a great pub

   • the terain around the town was planed for thresh corn places and vegetable gardens, later even for vineyards

The book is illustrated with variety of drawings and photographs from past and present, which are a record of planned, developed, organised, preserved and remarkable city - CITY WITH IDENTITY  in the north of Banat.


«Suvaca» mills are the oldest mills of the plains, meaning «dry» mills – as they used live work for grinding grains. Horses were their driving power. Today they are little known, although they emerged before the windmill.

«Suvaca» in Kikinda is the only preserved dry mill in our country (there is one more dry mill in Sarvaš, Hungary and in Otok, Croatia). Today, it defies time, while one of the first steam mills, "Damfil" (local term for "Damphmühle") still stands on the other end of town along with the the  giant silos - contemporaries to this day.


Basic information on Suvaca in Kikinda:

• Built in 1899. The number of dry mills was highest in 1847 when there was 51 dry mills. three with two wheels, and the rest with one wheel  (they were built with one, two and three wheels)

• Kikinda, the corner of Nemanjina and Moravska Street cat. lot nuber 8268

• «Dry mill» consists of three connected areas: the propulsion space (machinery area?), grinding area and millers dwelling area. The main building has multi-sided pyramid shape, this is where the great wheel is located. Its diameter is around 15m, and the height in the center of the pyramid is 8.55 m.

• The roof structure is wooden, covered in «pepper» tile. It leans on 14 low and 3 wide brick pillars. The most important part of Suvaca is under its roof: a large wheel that looks like a wheel of a rural horse-cart  with 12 beams connected to a vertical round shaft mounted vertically(or horizontally), called «popa». The system of 516 wooden cogs, on the edge of the shaft, transmit the energy and move two large grinding stones. The mill's mechanism, two stones for grinding, sieves and other parts of the mechanism are in the grinding area of the mill. 

• The driving power behind dry mill is live work- horses. A minimum of one pair of horses was used, the maximum being five pairs of horses. The horses were brought in by mill's suppliers/helpers  but the horses could be rented as well.

• One pair of horses could grind up to 100 kg of grain per hour. According to the stories, the taste of bread from wheat that was ground in Suvaca was excellent and of high quality. By setting up the appropriate sieve, fine white flour was made. In addition to wheat- paprika, pepper, and cinnamon were ground.

• Suvaca operated until 1945.

• The structure is ground level, nestled to the soil, of proportional dimensions. Its architecture is purely functional, without aesthetic pretentions, with clearly separated leveled parts. Local materials were used: soil, brick, tiles, timber. Harmonious unity of color and design is a result of a joint creation of nature, man and time. This building of simple architecture is unique because of its visible interior timber roof structure that captivates.

• This beauty from the late 19th century, celebrates its 100th birthday this year (1999., year this book was publihed).


Miroslav Antic from the poem "Kikinda" Banats big circle

This is the book about the urbanism of Kikinda, the value and the beauty of its architecture created at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century; the continuity and permeation of urbanism and architecture, about constancy and changes, the spirit of the place, proportions and harmony, the builders; the book about the conformity of the facades and the interiors, building styles, the reflections of the European architecture in Kikinda and about the initiative for the new urban and architectural achievements. Lavishly illustrated by the colour photographs and the author’s architectural drawings, on 276 pages in Serbian and English, it is the treasury of the architecture of Kikinda from the time representing the great architectural heritage of this town. As Milan Kasanin says: “No light is so clear as that coming from the past, no root so deep as the old one. The deeper the darkness, the stronger the light, the deeper the root, the more defiant the branches whipped by the wind.”

 The architect Biserka Ilijasev observes villas and palaces in Kikinda knowledgeably and expertly so we, as readers, also get our full impression thanks to her “inwad look at the facades”. Her “inward glance” means watching by eyes and by soul through which she brings us back to the time when these buildings began to change the rural environment into a town with its independent city hall and senate. Holding this book in your hands, you needn’t be in this town to get to know it. The book itself is enough. It is more than Kikinda is today. Reading it you can acquire some comprehension of what Kikinda used to be once. But it describes not only the long ago Kikinda, it depicts Kikinda today. As the citizen of Kikinda, I rejoice at Kikinda as such and in all towns of similar building and cultural milieu, because they are the European heritage in which Kikinda also has its place. Kikinda, seen through photographs, words and drawings of villas and palaces by Biserka Ilijasev, confirms that it has been connected with the European heritage, life standards and culture then, and it is still now.

It is questionable how long these villas and palaces will resist more and more strongly felt assaults of newly-composed requests and ideas of the owners and investors. That is why this record is  extremely valuable. It safeguards all that is architecturally precious and unrepeatable in this town.                                                                      

MIROSLAVA KOJIC, academic sculptor, Kikinda

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                                                    “There are towns, some of which even big and famous,

                                                                   that we visit and leave without regrets, and which,                                                      having been left behind us, disperse like a cloud of dust.

                                                                   And there are others, that remain in us, like a deep and

                                                                   private event, which is neither easy to speak nor to be silent                                                                    about.”


          Ivo Andric, from the travel story

                                                                                               “Upon the news that Bursa was burnt”

                 Kikinda counts among the towns which capture attention by the very environmental atmosphere, urban planning and the stylistic civic architecture structures. Consequently, this is a monograph about a rather relevant activity with the task to plan and arrange towns and other settlements. It is a complex multidisciplinary activity, so the crucial task of the architect – urbanist is to establish a good NATURE – TOWN – MAN relation, thus planning the prerequisite for a pleasant and safe town life.

                 The latest 50 years of urbanism are depicted in this monograph through the employees of the Public firm the name of which kept changing in accordance with the social transitions, through the names of those who left the remarkable trace in the urbanism of Kikinda, as well as through the strategic plans (spatial and urban) made for the town and the settlements in the municipality of Kikinda. Through its strategic plans Kikinda is defined as the centre of the north Banat region and the town clinging to the ground, with human-oriented and proportional dimensions, of a uniform height, harmonious architecture, abounding in greenery – A HUMAN-ORIENTED TOWN, because towns have always been built to a human measure, in their need for the urban unit. It isn’t only about a physical size, because humans are social beings, so the biological criteria are not enough to take care of, but the others as well, before all the cultural and social ones. Therefore, THE HUMAN MEASURE is simultaneously THE MEASURE OF THE SOCIAL AND URBAN BEING, which makes the biological conditions of the individual existance and the ecological conditions of the town building interlaced in the natural process. In every settlement the right DIMENSIONING plays the important part, in the first place for communication. The shapes of streets and squares, designed with dimensions meant to be passed easily, or the surrounding buildings with stairs that enable a comfortable climbing, all point down to an invariable standard of the human being according to whom all the spaces and physical structures are dimensioned. Architecture is not a passing fashion that can be thrown away like a worn out shirt. It has a lot in common with the philosophy of being, with needs and development, with the relevance of poetic contents and aesthetic qualities of the space and the architectural forms, with the symbols of ethic and cultural contents … with a MAN.

                 There is a need for the following future interaction: government – public – urbanists, as the main mover of the urbanistic development. Participation of the citizens, dealing with problems in space usage, protection of the public interest, ideas, hints and suggestions make the important factor for the town development in accordance with the inhabitants’ needs and defining the urbanist’s role to satisfy those needs, respecting the heritage, tradition and modern urbanistic regulations by providing spatial and urbanistic plans for the town and all the settlements in the municipality of Kikinda. It is the basic task of the urbanists – the visionaries and the experts, who plan the arrangement of the space and the development of the town in a suitable way, with the artistic eye for the space perception, for the benefit of all: both the inhabitants and all the activities accompanying the human life, and for all those who visit this urbanistically arranged town. Cooperation with the municipality administration, defined strategies of development and the execution of the plans which are in charge of the municipality administration make the essence of urbanistic planning and arrangement.