Nothing showcases the former glory of Vojvodina more than the astonishing halls of the wonderful castles where strapping young lads gathered.
Nothing shows the past glory of Vojvodina more realistically than its beautiful castles, which were once a gathering place for dashing young men, where young dames drank their afternoon tea, or perhaps where secret lovers spent a few hours hidden away from the public eye. Let’s take a visit to these renowned buildings, and for a few moments, become part of these bygone eras!
1. Castle Fantast (Dvorac Fantast), Bečej
This castle was built during the beginning of the 20th century and stands monument to the noble Dunđerski family’s wealth and influence. The building complex is located 14 kilometers from Bečej and bears features of the time’s French chateaus as well as neo-gothic and neo-classical architecture. Bogdan Dunđerski also raised a chapel by the castle, and was buried inside this shrine, as dictated by his will.
The 65 hectare area is surrounded by a green belt. There is also an outdoor pool by the building, but it no longer serves this purpose today. The riding hall that used to be home of a once famous stud farm still operates today, so guests can try horseback riding, carriage riding, and horse-drawn sleighs during the summer.
The castle also has a restaurant and hotel. Visitors can enjoy the park, take a look inside the chapel, and climb the lookout tower, which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding lowland area, all free of charge. Tour guide services can also be requested if needed.
2. Castle Kaštel (Lovački Dvorac „Kaštel”), Ečka
Ečka’s castle was built during the early 19th century by the nobleman Ágoston Lázár. An interesting fact about it is that Count Esterházy was a guest at the castle’s opening on 29 August 1820, and Franz Liszt gave a concert here when he was merely nine years old.
The building currently functions as a hotel, offering relaxation in an atmospheric and peaceful environment. Guests can enjoy a royal feast in the castle’s restaurant.
If you’re planning a longer stay, the Imperial Pond (Carska Bara) is worth visiting, as it was a cherished hunting area for the deceased Austro-Hungarian heir Franz Ferdinand. Today the area is a nature reserve. If you prefer urban environments, you can also visit Zrenjanin, or if you’re interested in fishing or hunting, the surrounding region has a number of excellent spots to offer.
3. Castle Stratimirović (Dvorac Stratimirović), Kulpin
In 1745, Maria Theresa gave land to the Stratimirović family as a token of gratitude for their support during the war against the Turks. The 4.5 hectare park contains two castles. The smaller one was built at the end of the 18th century, while the larger one was built during the mid-19th century in a neoclassical style. The land belonged to the Dunđerski family from 1889 to 1945.
Both castles are considered highly valuable cultural monuments. The larger one currently operates as a museum and is home to the Museum of Vojvodina’s furniture collection, while the smaller building serves as Kulpin’s local community center. The building once used as a granary now contains an agricultural history exhibition, while another auxiliary building nearby contains a variety of agricultural machines and tools.
4. Castle Kray (Dvorac Kraja Pala), Bačka Topola
Castle Kray is one of Bačka Topola’s town center’s most distinctive buildings. It was built during the early 1800s for Baron Pál Kray and his family. According to contemporary records, the multi-storey Zopf-style (a late baroque variant) building could’ve easily stood in the imperial city of Vienna.
Legend says that the Kray family was cursed, because the family lost all of its male members in a relatively short time through seemingly random accidents and misfortunate events. Since there was no male heir left, the Zichy family took ownership of the castle.
Castle Kray is now home to the Museum of Bačka Topola, the Local History Archives, and the Art Gallery exhibition hall. The castle stands next to the Sarlós Boldogasszony (Visitation) Roman Catholic church, which is the country’s tallest house of prayer.
5. Castle Kapetanovo (Dvorac Kapetanovo), Stari Lec
This is a perfect destination for fans of ghost-stories. Kapetanovo (also known as the Botka castle) was built by Béla Botka in 1904. It is characterized by neo-gothic features and is more reminiscent of a medieval fortress than a manor house from the early 20th century.
The legend attached to it is both mystical and tragic. According to the story, Béla Botka had two great loves in his life: his wife Emma, and gambling. After Botka spent all his money on gambling, his wife burnt herself to death. Locals say that on every 2nd of August, a long, fair-haired, female-shaped shade appears within the castle walls, and gazes towards the lowlands of Banat far away.