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Map of the Bačka region
Bačka (Serbian Cyrillic and Rusyn: Бачка, Hungarian: Bácska, Serbian Latin and Croatian: Bačka, Slovak: Báčka) is an area of the Pannonian plain lying between the rivers Danube and Tisa. It is divided between Serbiamarker and Hungarymarker, with small uninhabited pockets of land on the left bank of the Danube which, according to Croatian point of view, belong to Croatiamarker, but are under Serbian control since 1991 (see disputes of Croatia and Serbia).

Most of this area currently forms part of the Vojvodinamarker region of Serbiamarker. Novi Sadmarker, the capital city of Vojvodina, stands on the border between Bačka and Syrmiamarker. The smaller northern part of Bačka is now located in Bács-Kiskunmarker County in Hungary.

Name

The name Bačka is Slavic by origin. In Slavic languages, Bačka means "land which belongs to the town of Bačmarker". The name of the "Bač" (Bács) town itself is of uncertain origin and its existence was recorded among Vlachs, Slavs and Hungarians in the Middle Ages. The origin of the name could be Paleo-Balkanic, Romanian, Slavic, or Old Turkic-Hungarian. According to some Hungarian authors, the denominator of the landscape may have been the first bailiff of Bač/Bács castle, and the name one which can be rendered probable it old Turkish baya derives from a dignity name.

In the Middle Ages, Hungarians used name Bács to designate both, city and the region, but in the later period they adopted Slavic form Bačka (or Bácska in Hungarian).

History

Through history Bačka has been a part of Dacia, the Hun Empire, the Gepid Kingdom, the Avar Khanate, the First Bulgarian Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empiremarker, Austria-Hungary, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenesmarker, the Kingdom of Yugoslaviamarker, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker, the Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker, Serbia and Montenegro, and since 2006, it is part of an independent Serbiamarker. The smaller northern part of the region is part of the independent Hungarymarker since 1920.

People have inhabited the region of Bačka for over 4,000 years, since Neolithic times. The earliest historical inhabitants of the region were probably Illyrian tribes.

Slavs, the ancestors of contemporary Bačka Serbs settled today's Bačka in the 6th and 7th centuries. In the 9th century the territory of Bačka was part of Bulgarian Empire. Salan, a Bulgarianmarker voivod (duke), was a ruler in this territory and his capital city was Titelmarker. In the early 10th century, Hungarians defeated Salan, and his duchy came under Hungarian rule.

View of the fortress and the town of Bač
In the 11th century, during the administration of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, Bacsensis (Bač, Bács) County was formed, with city of Bačmarker/Bácsmarker as its administrative centre. First known prefect of Bacsensis County was recorded in 1074, and his name was Vid, which is a Slavic name by origin. In this time, the region was populated by both, Slavs and Hungarians.

In 1526 and 1527, Bačka was the central region of an independent Serbian state, which existed in the territory of present-day Vojvodinamarker. The ruler of this state was Emperor Jovan Nenad and his capital city was Suboticamarker. After some months the ruler it was overcome, and Bačka got back to the Kingdom of Hungary.

During the Ottoman rule (16th-17th centuries), Bačka was part of the Sanjak of Segedinmarker (Szeged), and the region was mainly populated with Serbs. In 1699 the Bačka came into the possession of the Habsburg Monarchy. A Bacsensis County was established in the western parts of the region, while the eastern parts of Bačka were incorporated into Tisa-Mureş section of Habsburg Military Frontier. After this part of the Military Frontier was abolished in 1751, the eastern parts of Bačka were also included into Bacsensis county. The only part of Bačka which remained within the Military Frontier was Šajkaška, but it also came under civil administration in 1873.

According to the Austrian census from 1715, Serbs, Bunjevci, and Šokci comprised most of the region's population. During the 18th century, the Habsburgs carried out an intensive colonisation of the area, which had low population density after the last Ottoman Wars, as much of the Serbian population had been decimated through warfare. The new settlers were primarily Serbs who moved from Serbia into Croatian lands, Hungarians, and Germans. Because many of the Germans came from Swabia, they were known as Donauschwaben, or Danube Swabians. Some Germans also came from Austria, and some from Bavariamarker and Alsacemarker. Lutheran Slovaks, Rusyns, and others were also colonized but to a much smaller extent.

There was also an emigration of Serbs from the eastern parts of the region, which belonged to Military Frontier until 1751. After the abolishment of the Tisa-Mureş section of Military Frontier, many Serbs emigrated from north-eastern parts of Bačka. They moved either to Russiamarker (notably to New Serbia and Slavo-Serbia) or to Banat, where the Military Frontier was still needed.

File:Indo Europeans Vojvodina map.png|Ancient Indo-European peoples in BačkaFile:Slavs Vojvodina01 map.png|Slavs in Bačka in the 6th centuryFile:Salan.png|Voivodeship (Duchy) of Bulgarian duke Salan, 9th centuryFile:Serbian empire06 map.png|Serbian empire of Jovan Nenad, 1526-1527File:Ottoman vojvodina01.png|Bačka as part of the Ottoman Sanjak of Segedin in 1568-1571File:Eyalet of temesvar1699.png|Military Frontier in Bačka in 1699

In 1848 and 1849, Bačka was part of the Serbian Voivodship, a Serbian autonomous region within Austrian Empiremarker, while between 1849 and 1860 it was part of the Voivodship of Serbia and Tamiš Banat, a separate Austrian crown land (the official language was German in this time), the successor of the Serbian Voivodship. After 1860, when Voivodship of Serbia and Tamiš Banat was abolished, the Bács-Bodrog County was formed in the territory of Bačka. The county was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, which became one of two autonomous parts of Austria-Hungary in 1867.

According the 1910 census, the population of Bačka numbers 704.563 people and is composed of: 43,2% Hungarian (310.490), 22,5% German and merely 28,1%-a Southern Slav.

The territory of Bačka (as part of Banat, Bačka and Baranja region) united with the Kingdom of Serbiamarker in 1918. By the Treaty of Trianon (4 June 1920), the original territory of Bačka was divided between the newly independent Hungarymarker and the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenesmarker, which was later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslaviamarker. The northern part of the region was a separate county of Hungary (Bács-Bodrog) with seat in Baja, which was later incorporated into Bács-Kiskunmarker county. The southern part of the region was a county of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenesmarker between 1918 and 1922, then a province (oblast) of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenesmarker between 1922 and 1929, and in 1929 it was incorporated into Danube Banovina, which was a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In 1941 Yugoslav Bačka was occupied by the Axis powers and attached to Horthy's Hungarymarker. During the occupation, Hungarian troops killed 19,573 civilians in Yugoslav Bačka, mostly of Serb, Jewish and Roma ethnicity, while many more civilians were arrested, violated or tortured. The occupation ended in 1944 with the end of the Second World War and Yugoslav Bačka became part of the new Democratic Federal Yugoslaviamarker (later the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). Following the defeat of the Axis troops, most of the German population that lived in the area left from the region together with German army. The smaller part of the German population that did not leave the area (mostly women, children and the elderly) were sent to prison camps, where the majority died of malnutrition and abuses by the new Yugoslav authorities. Members of the Yugoslav partisan army also killed a certain number of inhabitants of Hungarian and German ethnic origin after the war, mainly as a revenge for genocide and ethnic cleansing that Hungarian troops committed against Yugoslav peoples during the war. The Hungarian victims number in Bačka about 30,000 and the German deaths are estimated to have been approximately 100,000, while many more civilians were arrested, violated or tortured.

Together with Syrmiamarker and Banat, Yugoslav Bačka is part of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodinamarker since 1945. Since 1992, Yugoslav Bačka has been part of Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker (renamed to Serbia and Montenegro in 2003), and since 2006 it is part of an independent Serbiamarker.

File:Vojvodina18 19 cen.png|District of Potisje and Schajkasch Battalion, 18th-19th centuryFile:Vojvodina03.png|Bačka within the proclaimed borders of Serbian Voivodship in 1848File:Vojvodina map.png|Voivodeship of Serbia and Banat of Temeschwar (1849-1860)File:Vojvodina10.svg|Banat, Bačka and Syrmia after 1881, the five counties, which were formed in the territory of the former Voivodeship of Serbia and Banat of TemeschwarFile:Bacs-bodrog.png|Bács-Bodrog County in the Kingdom of HungaryFile:Bacs-Bodrog county map.jpg|Detailed map of Bács-Bodrog CountyFile:Banat backa baranja 02 map.png|Banat, Bačka and Baranja in 1918

Geography

Serbian Bačka

Map showing cities and towns in Serbian part of Bačka.
The districts of Serbia in Bačka are:

Note that municipalities of Sremski Karlovcimarker, Petrovaradinmarker, and Beočinmarker and southern part of municipality of Bačka Palankamarker that belong to South Bačka District are geographically not located in Bačka, but in Syrmia, while municipalities of Adamarker, Sentamarker and Kanjižamarker which are geographically located in Bačka are part of North Banat District.

Cities and towns in the Serbian part of Bačka (with city population numbers):

Note: Senta, Kanjiža, Ada and Mol are geographically located in Bačka, but they are part of the North Banat District.

Also see: List of inhabited places of Vojvodina

Hungarian Bácska

The Hungarian Bácska is mostly located in the Bács-Kiskun countymarker of Hungary, while one small part of the region is located in the Baranya countymarker.

Subregions in the Hungarian Bácska include (with population numbers):

Note that parts of Hungarian Bácska also belong to the subregions of Kiskunhalasimarker and Mohácsimarker, although the main parts of those subregions are not located in Bácska.

Most important towns in Hungarian Bácska (with population numbers):

Demographics

Ethnic map of Serbian Bačka (2002 census)


Serbia

According to the 2002 Serbianmarker census, the population of the Serbian part of Bačka (in geographical borders) numbers 1,022,524 people and is composed of:

Hungary

According to the 2001 census in Hungarymarker, the rough population of the Hungarian Bácska (including districts of Bajaimarker, Bácsalmásimarker, and Jánoshalmaimarker) numbering 113,432 people. [60217] Note that administrative borders of the districts do not fully correspond with the geographical borders of Hungarian Bácska. Most of the inhabitants of Hungarian Bácska are ethnic Hungarians. [60218]

Gallery

File:Liman002.jpg|Novi SadmarkerFile:Theatre in subotica.jpg|SuboticamarkerFile:Szentt2.jpg|SrbobranmarkerFile:Baja2005 g027.jpg|BajamarkerFile:Gemenc.jpg|Gemencmarker forest near BajaFile:Canal_Danube-Tisa-Danube_in_Serbia.jpg|Danube-Tisa-Danube Canalmarker near the village of Rumenkamarker, close to Novi SadFile:Kanizsa2.jpg|KanjižamarkerFile:LandscapeTemerin.JPG|Wheat field near Temerinmarker

Notes

  1. Milica Grković, Rečnik imena Banjskog, Dečanskog i Prizrenskog vlastelinstva u XIV veku, Beograd, 1986
  2. Dr. Aleksa Ivić, Istorija Srba u Vojvodini, Novi Sad, 1929
  3. A Pallas Nagy Lexikona
  4. Veselin P. Dželetović, Poslednji srpski car - Jovan Nenad, Beograd, 2007.
  5. Popis stanovništva, domaćinstava i stanova 2002. Knjiga 1: Nacionalna ili etnička pripadnost po naseljima. Republika Srbija, Republički zavod za statistiku Beograd 2003. ISBN 86-84443-00-09


See also



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