The one-story free-standing building of the “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj” gymnasium was built in the style of historicism, with a base in the shape of the Cyrillic letter “Ш”, in 1900 according to the project of architect Vladimir Nikolić. The initial capital of 200,000 crowns for construction was donated in 1897 by Baron Miloš Bajić, grandson of Miloš Obrenović. He died in the same year, and he gave the power of attorney for the realization of the project to the Central Credit Institute.
In 1703, there was a Serbian elementary school in its place, then from 1731 Visarion’s Latin school, which in 1781 became an Orthodox elementary school.
On the day of St. Sava In 1810, with the donation of Sava Vuković, lord of Beregsovo, the establishment of the Novi Sad Orthodox High School, the second Serbian high school, began after the one in Karlovac was founded in 1791.
The emperor gave approval for the establishment of the Novi Sad high school in 1811, and the decision was confirmed only in January 1816, when the first two classes of the high school began to work. The Great Serbian High School began its work in the building of the “Orthodox School”, which was built in 1781 and was located in the gate of the Cathedral. Pavel Jožef Šafarik, director of the gymnasium since 1819, enthusiastically declared about this building: “The gymnasium building is something special, I have never seen anything like it”.
The building is one of the few that was not destroyed in the bombing in Buna in 1849, so in the following years it served as a barracks, only to start working again in 1852. In the photo taken around 1880, we see the old gymnasium building.
At the end of the 19th century, there was a need to expand this building, and in 1898, the Patronage decided to build a new building on the site of the old one.
The foundation of the Gymnasium building resembles the foundation of the Patriarchal Palace in Sremski Karlovci, which was also built according to the project of architect Vladimir Nikolić. This free-standing building has two spacious school yards, and all facades are treated almost equally. The main facade facing Republic Square is dominated by three risalites surmounted by trapezoidal domes. On the central elevation is the main entrance, above which is a triangular tympanum, and on the first floor there are three large semicircular windows of the ceremonial hall. The other windows are surmounted by architraves, except for the windows on the corner elevations, which are two-part on the ground floor and three-part on the first floor, surmounted by triangular pediments. The corner cornices are surmounted by flat attics with baluster motifs and garlands, and the central cornice above the main entrance is surmounted by a low flat attic with a statue of the goddess Athena, the work of the sculptor Julius Annika. On the frieze of the central risalite is the inscription: “BARON MILOŠ BAJIĆ TO THE SERBIAN PEOPLE”.
On the map of Novi Sad, then still under the name Racka varoš or Perovaradinski šanac, the foundation of Visarion’s Latin school founded in 1731 is marked in red.
In the photo taken around 1880, we see the old gymnasium building, as a free-standing building.
In the panoramic photo of Novi Sad from 1895, at the time of the beginning of the construction of the court building – today’s Museum of Vojvodina, we see the position of the old gymnasium building.
On Sauter’s plan from 1889, we see the added right wing of the old building gymnasium built in 1781, probably shortly after the previous photo was taken.
On the plan from 1900, we see the foundation of the new, that is, today’s gymnasium building marked in red.
Drawing from the gymnasium plan by architect Vladimir Nikolić.
The position of the high school can be clearly seen on the panoramic photo of Novi Sad from 1903.
In the photo taken around 1920, we see the courtyard facing Zlatne grede Street.
The realisation of this site was supported by the Administration for Culture of the City of Novi Sad
The sources and materials of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the City of Novi Sad were used for the realization of this website
The Old Core of Novi Sad was declared a cultural asset, by the decision on establishing it as a spatial cultural-historical unit – 05 no. 633-151/2008 of January 17, 2008, “Sl. gazette of the Republic of Serbia” no. 07/2008.