Serbia // Northern Serbia //

The south bank and Petrovaradin Fortress

Novi Sad developed in tandem with the huge Petrovaradin Fortress on the Danube’s south bank. The fortress rises picturesquely from rolls of green hillside, its delicate lemon-yellow buildings set inside sturdy fortifications. It took its present shape in the eighteenth century when the Austrians tried to create an invincible barrier against the Turks. Unfortunately its defences quickly became outdated, and the authorities decided to imprison independent-minded troublemakers here instead – including Karađorđe and, a century later, a young Tito. The fortress museum relays the history of both the fortress and the town, though is more interesting for its wealth of eighteenth-and nineteenth-century applied art. As you approach from town, look out for the plaque on the right of the bridge commemorating Oleg Nasov, who was killed during the NATO bombing – Novi Sad was one of the cities hardest hit in the spring of 1999, losing all its bridges.

Beyond the fortress, climb the steps to the right of the church; you’ll arrive just under the clock tower. From this vantage point, the functional twentieth-century architecture of Novi Sad itself looks less alluring than the fortress does from the opposite bank, but the views of the surrounding countryside are magnificent.

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