This three-story house, in Art Nuove style, known as “The Ironman Palace”, was built in 1908/09, with a W-shaped floor plan, and designed by Pekla Bela in cooperation with a Budapestian architect Karoly Kovacs, for the owner Roman-Catholic church.
It was built in place of an early 19th-century three-story house, known by the same name – “The Ironman Palace”, on a land lot that used to be a part of the old early 18th-century Roman Catholic cemetery.
Since 1913, a renowned sweetshop “Dormschteter” was in this building. After the death of the owner Jakob Dormschteter in 1944, the state takes over the ownership and changes its name to “Moskva”, then later to “Zagreb”, and finally, in the 1990s to Athena, it carries to this day.
The house is at the corner of the main square and Njegoseva street, which was once called Bela Ladja, after a renowned old inn at No. 5. This inn was mentioned for the first time in 1812, using the Latin version of its name “Alba navis”.
The Njegoseva street was not on the 1745 city plan, but we can see it on the 1845 city plan (picture below). The street was built at the end of the 17th century.
The original “Ironman Palace” was built in the early 19th century, and in 1846 the City Magistrate was moved to this house. The City Archives were on the ground level and the other services on the first and second floors. During the 1849 Uprising bombing, it burned down, and half of it collapsed.
What the Njegoseva street and this house looked like after bombing was witnessed by Sigfrid Kaper in 1850:
“We took a turn from the main city square to a back street, if two lines of ruins and ruble may be called a street…”
In the early 1850s it was reconstructed by the original blueprints, for the same owner, the Roman Catholic Church.
The oldest photo of this house taken in the early 1880s, in the picture below on the left, while on the right, we can see its floorplan, marked in red on the 1889 Sauter’s city plan. We can see the Ironman statue, on the corner of the house, between the ground and the first floor.
In this photo of the “Ironman Palace” taken in the 1880s, we can see the details on the facade:
In this photo of the house taken in the 1900s, we can see the details of the Neoclassical-style facade even better:
In this photo taken in 1904, there is a unique view of the house, because the house next to it was just demolished, and the building site of the “Finances Palace” retouched:
A photo taken in 1909, right after the new “Ironman Palace” was finished, bearing the features of the Art Nuova style.
In the niche on top of the house corner, we can see the old Ironman statue, it was named after. On the ground floor we can see the Istvan Hajerek’s sweetshop:
In this hand-colored photo taken in 1914, we can see the renowned sweetshop “Dormschteter”, with its entrance zoomed-in in the lower right corner. We can also see the cable tram in this picture:
Photo of the “Ironman Palace” taken in 1980s:
Present-day drone photo of the building:
Close-up drone photo of the Ironman statue:
The realisation of this site was supported by the Administration for Culture of the City of Novi Sad
Sources and materials of the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments of the City of Novi Sad were used for this site
THE NOVI SAD OLD TOWN was declared a cultural property by the decision for determining spatial cultural-historical unit – 05 No 633-151/2008 of 17th January 2008, “Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia” No 07/2008.