A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Some of you might have heard of this place because of it being the location of the famous EXIT Festival, which is an annual summer festival held here since 2001. I am talking about the place called as Petrovaradin which is located in the city of Novi Sad, Serbia. I recently got a chance to visit Serbia and one of the places which I really wanted to visit was the Petrovaradin fortress after hearing so much about the stunning view of the Danube which one can observe from here. So after a 2 hour bus ride starting from Belgrade and passing through the heart of Serbia I reached the town of Novi Sad located in Vojvodina province and from there I took a bus to Petrovaradin. And Petrovaradin did not disappoint me..
This fortress is located on the right bank of the Danube river and dates back to the 1600’s. Every stone from this fortress carries so much history with it. It is built in a vast area of 112 acres, three levels in depth and there are about 12 miles of different corridors. This fortress also has an extensive array of underground tunnels as well. When excavations which were carried out in the beginning of the 21st century it was found out that the region dates back to the Mid-paleolithic period. According to a legend the name Petrovaradin is derived from words of numerous languages – “Petra” is Latin for rock, “var” is Hungarian for town, and “din” is Turkish for faith. In all, Petrovaradin means “The town on the rock, firm as faith.” Many called the Petrovaradin Fortress the Gibraltar of the Danube because of its stance high on the rocks overlooking the Danube.
One of the major landmarks of the Petrovaradin fortress is the clock tower. The clock tower becoming especially famous because the minutes and hour hand on the clock tower is reversed, this was done, so that the fisherman on the Danube can easily see the time from far away. This fortress had also served as Military barracks during the1800’s and early 1900’s. Even to this day one can see the remains of some impressive artillery machines at this fort.
This fortress also houses a musical academy, part of the University of Novi Sad. There are also several at galleries at the fortress. To add to all this there are also beautiful cafes and restaurants at the fortress from where you can have a stunning view of the Danube. Regular visitors to the café included Mr. Tito himself and his family. If all that is not reason enough to visit this place, the stunning Sunset observed from here should be the reason to visit Petrovaradin! There are not many sights better than enjoying a Sunset in the Balkans all the while reflectively sipping on some coffee and having the majestic Danube right in front of you!