The first association of Novi Sad is usually Petrovaradin Fortress and it would normally be the first thing to see when visiting our city. However, the fort itself and the area around it boasts cultural and historical sites, monuments, hidden corners, and places for relaxation and recreation. Let us briefly take you there.
We will start by telling you that its construction was initiated by the Austrian War Command with the aim of stopping potential invasions of the Ottomans in 17th century. However, very little is known how difficult it was to build a fortress like this, and how many people lost their lives during its construction. Also, the story goes that cats were built into the walls of the fortress, as they are believed to have nine lives, which would extend the life of the fort and make it endure and resist the attacks. When the fortress was built, it was the most significant and largest fortification in the Habsburg Monarchy. Ottomans made two forceful attempts to conquer it, but, heck, they failed.
After that, in the 19th century, it became a military administrative centre and today it is a significant cultural monument that we are very much proud of and towards which we are now leading you. You can read more on its history in our other blog post. However, we will tell you that some of its major sites are located at the foot of the fortress in so-called Suburbium, the oldest part of Petrovaradin through which you first pass. As soon as you get off the Duga (Rainbow) bridge, to your left you can find Military Hospital, built on the site of a former Franciscan monastery. It is the oldest in Europe, and the only one whose work was not interrupted for 231 years. There is also St. Paul’s Orthodox Church which is located in the northeast part of the Military Hospital, the oldest pharmacy, and if you look down the street you will see the Belgrade gate in the shape of arches.
The main road is called Belgrade street, simply because it leads to Belgrade through the villages of Vojvodina plain. It passes right through the heart of Suburbium, intertwined with historical buildings which are telling some interesting stories about past and present of this area. Before you move on, you can find a nice relaxing spot on the coast of Danube, just underneath its walls. There are two restaurants, “Aqua Doria” and “Balkan express” that we wholeheartedly recommend, where you can enjoy fish and other traditional specialties. Summer or winter, the views of Novi Sad are just breathtaking from there, so don’t miss them out. For those that have a sweet tooth, there is a famous patisserie “Multi-Tarte”, also located on the main street, where you can choose from a variety of cakes, pastries. cookies and meringues. Yumyum. Anyway, before climbing up to get to the upper fort, you can get lost in the old, narrow streets of Suburbium and see what is there for yourself – we won’t reveal much, apart from telling you there is a cosy pub “Dublin” with a selection of draft beers, in which you can sit and unwind.
Then you climb up the cobbled stairs, perhaps passing through the tunnel, the starting point of the daily tours to the underground military galleries. And when you reach the top, there you go, you have loads to do and see – the clock tower, the souvenir stands, the artistic ateliers in one of which, Atelier 61, you can visit the weaving workshop, the City Museum of Novi Sad, several million dollar view restaurants and cafes, trenches and tunnels and wooden bridges, hotel Leopold, the Academy of Art. Just wander around aimlessly, and you will always end up somewhere interesting and be sure that the fortress will teach you a lot in just a very short time.