Banovina building is located on the right bank of the Nisava, close to the entrance to the Fortress. It was built in 1889 for Nis County Administration. In addition to the beauty of its architecture, the building has also been important in the history of Nis and Serbia.
In the beginning of World War One, from 26 July 1914 till 16 October 1915, Nis was the “war capital of Serbia” and this building housed the Serbian Government and Foreign Ministry. On Tuesday, 28 July 1914 the official declaration of war to Serbia by Austro-Hungary arrived here, in a manner unprecedented in diplomatic relations – via a telegram. It was received by the Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pasic.
On 4 September 1914 in this building the “Treaty between Serbia and Albania”, also known as “Nis Treaty” was signed by Essad Pashё Toptani and Nikola Pasic. It entailed joint defense, customs, representation abroad. It was would prove very important in the winter of 1915 when the Serbian army retreated over Albania.
The second stage of construction commenced in 1930 when Nis became the seat of Moravska Banovina (District). The building got its present look in 1935. After World War Two it was the municipal seat, while since 1966 the building has been the seat of the University of Nis.
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