7.3.12

Subotica's City Hall Tower

My favorite picture of Subotica, Serbia. Not sure who the credit goes to. 
This picture was my first introduction to Subotica, Serbia. In May of 2011, Chris called me during his business trip to Serbia, and things unfolded sort of like this, "Lana, so my company is really sending us to Serbia, and the move is going to happen soon. I have to find an apartment for us to live in, but first I have to decide where to look for a home! You'll go stir-crazy if we live in the tiny village where my office is located, but I hear that Subotica's nice. It would be an hour drive to and from work for me every day, but I think we will both be happier if we live in Subotica. Start stalking Subotica on Google and get to know your new home away from home."

Like I said, that picture above was the first thing I saw of my new Serbian home. 

Thanks to Google, of course!

 Subotica, Serbia. 

I found that Subotica, Serbia is really more of a big town with a rather impossing City Hall standing guard over her 150,000(ish) inhabitants. The town sits on the border of two countries and its mixed nationalities and cultures attest to the 150 years of conflict, redrawn borders, and unrest. In short, over the past 150 years, the area of Subotica was part of the following nations: the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Hungary, The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, The Kingdom of Yugoslavia, then back to Hungary in 1941 and then part of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, then 'smaller' Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and finally modern day Serbia. What a whirlwind! The food, language, music and attire all speak of the blending of culture and tradition that define Subotica. Hungarian and Serbian are both widely spoken here, and service professionals are expected to be comfortable in both of those languages plus English. 

There are several historical buildings and monuments in Subotica, but the one that stands out the most (to me) is City Hall. Maybe that is because anywhere you stand in town, you can see the 76 meter (or 249 foot) spire. Two smaller City Hall buildings once occupied the center of town, but in 1910 the current City Hall was completed by two Hungarian architects from Budapest. It took two years to complete the imposing Art Nouveau structure. 

Despite the tumultuous history of this region, City Hall has remained relatively unchanged. The only thing that varied was the symbol on top of the main tower. When the building was completed in 1910, a cross adorned the tower, but in 1949 during the socialist period, a five-point star replaced the cross. In 1994, the original cross was returned to its rightful spot overlooking the city of Subotica. 

There is an observation deck that can only be accessed if you know someone. I happen to have a friend in City Hall who arranged a tour for me and my mother. Mom visited at the end of October, so this blog is a little overdue! 

Enjoy my pictures from the observation deck of City Hall. 

Steep and narrow stairs leading to the observation deck. 
The observation deck.
Looking down the Korzo (main walking street) in Subotica, Serbia.
Our house is in there somewhere. 
It was chilly, but the view was worth the discomfort.
St. Theresa's Catholic Church can be seen in the upper right corner. 
A view of The Blue Fountain. 
Items that were part of the first two City Hall buildings in Subotica, Serbia. 
The five-point star that adorned City Hall during Socialism. 
I am so glad that Chris "took one for the team" and decided to drive two hours a day so that we could live in the town of Subotica, Serbia. There is still so much for me to learn and discover here. My amazing husband made a great choice.