The Prefecture Building
Back in the 15th century, meetings of the parliament of former Bodroš prefecture to which this settlement belonged were occasionally held in Sombor. Since the prefecture did not have its permanent seat earlier, the district administration tried, at the beginning of 1750s, to proclaim the town of Baja as the prefecture seat. In 1753, The Empress Maria Theresa recommended Sombor to become the seat of the prefecture. When Emperor Joseph II finally proclaimed Sombor the seat of the prefecture in 1786, its administration moved into the building of former Franciscan Monastery next to the Church of Holy Trinity. The architect and prefecture engineer Anton Bauer selected the building ground for the future Prefecture, located on the city’s fair ground, nicknamed “the island of policeman”. The building of a three-storey edifice commenced in 1805 and it was finished in 1809 when all prefecture offices moved into it. The building already had its present recognizable middle protuberance with a balcony and in the place of a future roof console there was the statue of St. Apostle Paul, the patron saint of Bač-Bodroš prefecture. Adaptation and renovation of the Prefecture started in 1880. According to the project of architect Đula Partoš, the old neo classicist façade was completely replaced with a new, more decorative, eclectical one and two new square-based towers were built in the places where lateral wings of the old building were joined with new elongations. Above the roof there was a dome, which outer part resembles a console, similar to those on the Venetian Church of Santa Maria Della Salute. The works on the renovation of the Prefecture were finished in 1882 since when 200 different premises, rooms and halls became available. In February 1898, the hall was decorated with the impressive Ferencz Eisenhut’s (1857-1903) painting The Battle of Senta, which was painted in oil on one-piece canvas with dimensions 7 x 4 metres, in a rich gold-plated frame. The painting represents final moments of the battle in which, on 11 September 1697 the Austrian army under the leadership of Eugene of Savoy achieved tremendous victory against the dominant Turks near Senta on the river Tisza. In the main auditorium, on a special pedestal next to the galleries, there were big sculptures of the Roman goddess of justice Justicia and goddess Minerva. Today the Prefecture is the seat of Sombor municipality in Western Bačka County.