Novi Sad as the second largest city of Serbia is the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the administrative centre of the South Backa District.
Since its founding, the population of the city has been constantly increasing. As an ethnically most diverse city in the region, it is situated in the southern part of the Pannonian Plain, on the border of the Backa and Srem geographical regions, on the banks of the Danube river, facing the northern slopes of the famous and glorious Fruska Gora mountain.
Since the 18th and 19th centuries, Novi Sad has indeed become an important trading and manufacturing centre, as well as the centre of Serbian culture of that period, even earning the nickname of the Serbian Athens. Heavily abolished in the 1848 Revolution, but subsequently restored until today too, along with the capital city of Belgrade, the city gains a status of the industrial and financial centre of the Serbian economy.
Renowned and considered as one of the most beautiful Balkan cities, its 19th-century architecture dominates the city centre, which makes it unique and gives it a specific charm. Around the centre, you may come across buildings dating before the 19th century, while in the other areas of the city the old small houses have been replaced by modern multi-story buildings.
During the socialist period, new blocks with wide streets and multi-story buildings were built around the city core. All in all, this is something that makes Novi Sad rather unique, as you will notice the compositions of the contrast that somehow beautifully and perfectly functions.
The city’s most dominant landmark is the Petrovaradin Fortress, dating from the 17th century. What history lovers will surely find amazing is that the Museum of Novi Sad is Petrovaradin Fortress offers a detailed collection of the history of the fortress. A fortress that no enemy has ever taken through centuries also has a small Observatory and Planetarium. In fact, in 1991, Petrovaradin Fortress was added to the Spatial Cultural-Historical Units of Great Importance list, and it is protected by the Republic of Serbia. The Fortress, with its beauty and rigidity, testifies the dynamic history of the region through centuries. The”Reversed clock” as it is known, is one of the trademarks of the fortress. What you will find very interesting, as I have, is that the minute and hour hand on the clock tower are reversed, with the small hand showing minutes, and the big hand showing hours, so that fishermen on the Danube river can see the time from a long distance.
Zmaj Jovina Street is one of the oldest streets in Novi Sad. It extends from Liberty Square to the bishop’s palace and it used to be a place with several craft and trade shops, named Magazinska alley. By the early 20th century, it was a central spot for an evening promenade. At the end of the street, in front of the bishop’s house, since 1984, there is a monument of Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj, the most famous children’s poet, by whom the famous street got its name.
As a young and lively city, Novi Sad will never cease to disappoint you with its rich bar and clubs scene. One of the first associations of Novi Sad, especially for music and festival lovers, is the annual Exit Festival, the key summer music festival, attracting visitors from all over the world. Apart from the uncountable festivals and cultural manifestations that Novi Sad organises, Exit Festival, due to the quality of performances, renowned performers, impeccable organisation and irreplaceable atmosphere remain the most prominent one. It has grown from the biggest festival in South-Eastern Europe to one of the biggest in Europe.
When visiting Novi Sad everyone must find some time to visit a restaurant of Serbian national cuisine. In Novi Sad friendly hospitable people will make you feel at home and here you will spend an unforgettable time.
Sremski Karlovci is a small town situated in the northern region of Serbia called Vojvodina. Located only 8 km from Serbia's second-largest city, Novi Sad, it is a perfect spot to visit and enjoy the specific baroque architecture of the charming small town. Sremski Karlovci hosts the most famous wine festival in the region.
The town has traditionally been known as the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Habsburg Monarchy. It was the political and cultural capital of Serbian Vojvodina after the May Assembly and during the Revolution in 1848.
The town had the earliest Serb (and Slavic in general) gymnasium, founded on 3 August 1791. Three years after this, an Orthodox seminary was founded here. It was the second-oldest Orthodox seminary in the world (after the Spiritual Academy in Kyiv), and it still operates.
Sremski Karlovci has a glorious spirit with fancy buildings and squares leftover from some other time when it was an important cultural centre of a prosperous kingdom. Even the wine from this place has a special exclusive feel to it – locally produced bermet is world-renowned, original Serbian wine that even made it to the iconic Titanic, to be served as a delicacy.
Bermet is a unique kind of locally-produced aromatic dessert wine. Its delightful sweet taste is easy to underestimate, but beware, it holds around 15-18% of alcohol! Mostly prepared as red wine, it was extremely popular among the royal European families in the 15h century, and it was exported to the United States in the late 19th century.
The scientists call Fruška Gora “the mirror of geographical past”, while among the people it is indeed a mirror of cultural past and rich history, dating back to centuries ago, due to the uncountable number of monasteries, about which I will write in the inspirations to come. Due to its culturally rich monuments, Fruška Gora is also called Holy Mountain or Serbian Athos. What you surely didn’t know is that Fruška Gora was an island in the Pannonian Sea, but millions of years ago. Today it is a mystical, beautiful mountain and protected national park, also famous for producing some of Serbia's best wine.
Fruška Gora used to house over 30 traditional Serbian Orthodox monasteries. Unfortunately only 17 of those survived over time. According to the written sources, most of the monasteries were built between the 15th and 18th century.
Fruška Gora had a great influence on the development of Serbian spirituality and literature and the Serbian State itself.
The monasteries of Fruška Gora were built by the Branković despot family to continue the old state governing traditions of the Nemanjić family. This group of sacral objects once was the pillar of the spiritual and political life of Serbs, and today it represents religious, historical and cultural objects of great value and importance.
Krušedol monastery (built-in 1509-1514)
Krušedol monastery – endowment of Đorđe Branković (bishop Maksim) and his mother St. Angelina of Serbia. Monastery’s Church is devoted to Annunciation and preserves the most important baroque pictures of Serbia/ In Krušedol all the Branković family is buried as well as King Milan Obrenović, Princess Ljubica, patriarch Arsenije III Čarnojević and famous commander Stevan Šupljikac.
Grgeteg monastery (built-in 1471)
The monastery was built by Vuk Branković, famous as Vuk the Fire Dragon. Here is the most exact copy of Hilandar’s
Three-handed Mother of Jesus. The monastery was burnt and restored many times, it has also played a great role in the Great Migrations of the Serbs in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The next following visit is Hopovo monastery from the 15th century that represents a unique architectural monument. In the 16th century, this place represented the most important enlightenment centre in Serbia: famous Serbian cultural and philological figure Dositej Obradović lived and worked here.