Pančevo, Kovačica

A Tradition in Naïve Painting

Pančevo lies on the confluence of the Tamis (Tamiš) and Danube rivers, just 13 km from Belgrade. A typical city of the southern Banat, Pancevo is an industrial city with a laid back character.

Pancevo’s center features several striking buildings, including the Roman Catholic St. Karl the Boromeian Roman Cathedral. The structure is actually the renovated house of Count Maruso, built in 1722. With its mighty domes, high bell towers and intricate treasures, the Transfiguration Church is one of the symbols of Pancevo. The temple features stunning hand-painted icons by Uros Predic. Another of Pancevo’s main attraction is the 19th century Ascension Church. Karadjordje himself provided the wooden trunks necessary to fire the bricks that were used to build the temple.

Pancevo became a powerful industrial center during the 1960’s and 1970’s. The town has a nitrogen plant, oil refinery, airplane factory, plastic manufacturing, glass and light bulb production.

The region surrounding Pancevo has an interesting history. Artifacts discovered here reveal a mysterious prehistoric culture. Named after the present day city of Starcevo, the Starcevacka (Starčevačka), culture was thought to have been incredibly rich and prominent.


The Vojlovica monastery is just five kilometers northeast of Pancevo heading toward Starcevo (Starčevo). According to legend, this beautiful monastery was built in 1393, following the Battle of Kosovo.

The Pancevo brewing tradition dates back to 1722. Sample one of the local beers at one of Pancevo’s many seafood restaurants and cafes along the Tamis River.

Located 13 km from Kovin, the Deliblato Sands are unique phenomena in Europe. This magnificent nature reserve of sand dunes features a unique preserved ecosystem of rare fauna. The area is protected by the state as an area of geographic significance.


Located 50 km north of Belgrade, Kovacica (Kovačica) is well known for its ethnic Slovak community and naïve painting tradition. The surrounding area is beautiful and you will likely see fields of sunflowers as you drive toward the town, which features a quaint central park and church. Take a stroll through the city and you will notice that every home is marked with a plate listing its owner and the year it was built.


The naïve painting tradition in Kovacica began in 1939 when two locals, Martin Paluska and Jan Soko started creating art in this style. As the movement flourished, Paluska, Sokol and other gifted residents established a painting club in the 1950’s. Without formal training of any kind, they gathered interested villagers of Kovacica, Padina and other neighboring towns, and created a specific style, painting scenes from daily life. The first exhibition of naïve painting in Kovacica took place in 1952. Three years later the first Gallery of Naïve Art was established.  The tradition continues today.

When in Pancevo and Kovacica, we recommend:

– A stroll along the Tamis River

– A visit to the Starcevo archeological site

– Purchasing a naïve painting in Kovacica


The Kovacica School of naïve painting made famous by Zuzana Halupova, Martin Jonas and other artists is world-renowned. Though you can visit the Gallery of Peasant Painters and the famous Babka Gallery you will be pleased to discover that nearly every home in this adorable village features a gallery exhibit.


Tourist Organization of Pancevo
2-4 Kralja Petra I Square, 26000 Pancevo
Tel: +381 13 351 366

Kovacica Municipality Tourist Organization
50 Marsala Tita Street, 26210 Kovačica
Tel: +381 13 661 122