Belgrade, Nacional park “Fruska gora”, Sremski Karlovci, Petrovaradin fortress, Novi Sad

One of the oldest cities in Europe and the only one built on the confluence of two rivers – Danube and the Sava . The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is known as “the city that never sleeps”. Floating clubs on its rivers have become synonyms for great parties and neverending fun, and Skadarlija, the bohemian street, for a place where music and singing can be heard until dawn.

 

Belgrade is a modern european city with population of about 1.7 million people. It is an administrative, political and cultural center of the country. The sessions of Serbian parliament and government are being held in Belgrade, and the office of the President is also in it. The buildings that host these institutions are themselves monuments of great cultural importance and therefore a part of every visitor’s itinerary.

 

All the people that have lived here and the armies that passed through Belgrade have left their marks on the city, and the magnificent Victor monument, the remains of the Belgrade fortress, the Stambol gate, the Old Palace and many other sites of Belgrade are inviting you to discover them.

 

The seats of numerous international companies can be found there, but also major shopping malls and the Belgrade Arena – the largest hall in the Balkans – that has already hosted some world famous events like the Eurosong contest, Summer Universiade, Davis cup finals…

 

In Belgrade you can also find one quite specific monument – “The house of flowers” (Kuća cveća). It is the burial place of Josip Broz Tito, the former president of Yugoslavia and a person that has marked the second half of the XX century in this part of the world. Whether due to their nostalgia or just simple curiosity, this monument attracts a great number of visitors from the region, but also from the world.

 

One of Belgraders’ most popular picnic and excursion destinations is mount Avala – located not far from the city. The other is Ada Ciganlija, a river island turned into a peninsula with a promenade and a beach that surround the lake in the center. It is a perfect destination to cool down during hot summer days.

The Fruska Gora National Park sits on the lone mountain that rises up from the Vojvodina plains in the north of Serbia. Fruska Gora is proclaimed a National Park in 1960.

 

The mountain, with a top height of 539 meters at Crveni Cot, stretches east to west, touching the Danube River at the historic city of Sremski Karlovci, where its administrative offices are located. The distinctive character of this 22,000 hectare park comes from its grouping of linden trees, the greatest concentration in Europe, as well as from the over 700 species of medicinal herbs that grow here in its forests.

 

The higher sections of Fruska Gora consist of thick forests, whereas the lower valleys of the mountain contain orchards and centuries-old vineyards. Fruska Gora hides 16 orthodox monasteries famous for their specific architecture, treasuries, libraries and frescoes and numerous archeological sites from prehistoric and historic times as well.

 

Wine tasting at the many vineyards located here is also a popular activity. The park has many picnic areas and offers many opportunities for hiking, biking, hunting and fishing.

 

In Vrdnik, the former mining village, about 20 km from Novi Sad there is a Vrdnik spa The sources of mineral water was built in a modern center for rehabilitation and recreation. Healing properties of water are suitable for rheumatic diseases, conditions after injuries or surgery on the locomotive organs. In the spa there is an outdoor swimming pool and an indoor therapeutic pool.

 

Monastery Vrdnik – Nova Ravanica is located near Vrdnik. It is believed that it is built in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century. During the Austrian-Turkish conflict, the monastery was robed and ruined and on its ruins, after the Great Migrations, monks came from monastery Ravanica from South Serbia. The monks have restored the monastery and brought there all the treasures and relics of Prince Lazar from monastery Ravanica, that was repeatedly moved from place to place. Today, the relics of Prince Lazar located in the Museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade.

 

Near the village are the ruins of medieval Vrdnik tower.

 

West of Vrdnik village is a still active female Jazak monastery. The monastery church dedicated to Holy Spirit and is considered the most beautiful church architecture in Fruska Gora. Particular artistic values are three thrones, the throne of Emperor Uros, Virgin’s throne and the Bishops throne.

Scattered between the green slopes of Fruška gora and the blueness of Danube, Sremski Karlovci is guarding the rich treasury of Serbian culture and spirituality in its edifices of priceless historical values, and on the streets of Sremski Karlovci is still celebrated the wine and grapes twined with Branko Radičević’s poetry.


Sremski Karlovci is a city of vineyards whose authorities of various ethnicities changed hands many a time during its history. But that made this town even richer in its culture. All the ethnicities that moved in left the mark of their traditions forever weaving it in multicultural riches of Sremski Karlovci.


It is said that every building, house and street in Sremski Karlovci have their own stories to tell, for this city was beyond doubt famous for its spirituality and culture of Serbia. The city had become an heir to the Patriarchate of Peć right after the First Serbian Migration in 1690. The grand Patriarchate Court is domineering the city’s central square, and since the Patriarchate had been moved to Belgrade, the Eparchy of Srem took its place.


In the magnificent edifice of the Patriarchate have remained the preserved iconostases of famous Serbian artists Theodore Kračun and Uroš Predić. Situated next to the Patriarchate, the Cathedral church is glistening all in white, with its green domes designed by Zaharije Orfelin (a prominent Serbian poet, historian, copper engraver, calligrapher, baroque educator, and lexicographer). The church is dedicated to the Saint Nicholas, and today you can find valuable frescoes and paintings of Paja Jovanović there, as well as the relic of Saint Arsenius the Syrmian, the second archbishop of Serbia.


Right next to the Cathedral church there is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, originating from 1768. What makes this church outstandingly valuable are the baroque doors processed in xylography, safely guarding the oldest organ in Vojvodina. Folks say that “churches’ domes of both churches are threating to tower over the Fruška gora mountain, and that the bells that ring are like the ones in Florence”.


Apart from being the spiritual center, Karlovci had been the meeting point of cultural elites, poets, and prominent personae. Because of its close vicinity to Austria, and for the city’s important role with the Viennese Court, which was under the Habsburg’s management, Karlovci has been a city well ahead of its time. The first gymnasium ever to be founded in Serbia had been right there, in the city center.


Gymnasium was founded by metropolitan bishop Stephen Stratimirović in 1791 with the permissions of emperor Leopold the Second and with the help of wealthy citizens of Karlovci. Many famous Serbs studied there, out of which the most well-known one is a poet Branko Radičević, whose bust adorns this high school, and his verses about Karlovci are recited by every child living there.


Gymnasiums is visited by many tourists, and in its wooden shelves are kept safe the editions of first Serbian books ever. It was also a place of inspiration in the making of the Serbian classic, movie “Barking at the Stars”. Even today Karlovci’s gymnasium stands out for its students’ possibility to learn languages like Arabic, Old Church Slavic, and Modern Greek.


Karlovci throughout the whole year are swarmed with many different societies, especially during the cheerful traditional manifestations which are derived from native customs. Ever since the Roman emperor Probus planted the grapevine brought from southern Italy, winemaking or viniculture became one of the main branches of industry and professional occupation of Karlovci’s residents.


Their wine has been enjoyed on European courts, and today it is celebrated on September’s wine balls with the traditional gugelhupf cakes, bermet wine, pink wine, entertainment and plenty of visitors.


Complex and rich history and city’s tradition is also presented by a few older manifestations which take place throughout the year, like “Karlovci’s Christmas Gala”, “Gugelhupf Festival”, poetry festival “Brankovo kolo”, as well as art colonies.


Karlovci has entered the pages of European history in 1699, when the treaty was signed thus ending the Great war between Austria and Turkey. On that spot, century later, Karlovci’s Catholics have built the Lady of Peace chapel which stands proudly today, making it a popular touristic attraction.


Baroque and neoclassical style are exuding in other cultural renditions of Karlovci: Stephaneum, Magistrate building where is now situated municipality headquarters, Palace of church funds, homes of baron Rajačić (Ilion castle) and Dragomir Popović.


City has its own legend which claims that whoever drinks from the Four Lions fountain located in the city center will surely return to Karlovci and get married there.


Getting married there or not, whoever visited Karlovci once will return again, enamored in the city itself. And for those who had never visited it, the idyllically beautiful city anxiously awaits their arrival so it can dazzle with its charm, ever hungry for new admirers.

Petrovaradin Fortress nicknamed “Gibraltar on/of the Danube” is a fortress in the town of Petrovaradin, itself part of the City of Novi Sad, Serbia. It is located on the right bank of the Danube river. The cornerstone of the present-day southern part of the fortress was laid on 18 October 1692 by Charles Eugène de Croÿ. Petrovaradin Fortress has many tunnels as well as 16 km of uncollapsed underground countermine system.

 

In 1991 Petrovaradin Fortress was added to Spatial Cultural-Historical Units of Great Importance list, and it is protected by the Republic of Serbia.

 

Recent archeological discoveries have offered a new perspective not only on the history of Petrovaradin, but on the entire region. At the Upper Fortress, the remains of an earlier Paleolithic settlement dating from 19,000 to 15,000 BC has been discovered. With this new development it has been established that there has been a continuous settlement at this site from the Paleolithic age to the present. During the excavations carried out in 2005, archeologists also discovered another significant find. Examining remains from the early Bronze age (c. 3000 BC), ramparts were discovered which testify that already at that time a fortified settlement existed at the Petrovaradin site.

 

The first larger fortifications were created with the arrival of the Romans who built the fortress (Cusum) which was a part of the fortified borders (Limes) along the Danube.

The City of Novi Sad has the necessary diversity of a modern tourist center that aims to and has the ability to put itself on a world tourist map. It is located on the Danube, on the intersection of the most important roads, near the mountain of Fruška Gora with 17 culturally and historically significant monasteries, and it is surrounded by typical Vojvodinian ranches. In addition, there are 17th-century Petrovaradin Fortress, appealing old city center, numerous museums, prestigious Novi Sad Fair, as well as many world famous festivals and events.
Novi Sad has been a member of the European Cities Tourism since 2006. During 2008, 97,008 tourists visited the city, which is 4.2 % of the total number of tourists in the Republic of Serbia. In 2008 only, the port of Novi Sad saw 500 cruise ships (out of which 250 were foreign) and around 35,000 passengers. Besides, approximately 300,000 people visit the Agricultural Fair every year, while the EXIT music festival attracts around 150,000 visitors, mostly foreign.


Among the many tourist attractions we would like to single out:
THE DANUBE is one of the distinguishing features of Novi Sad from the aspect of tourism, especially the famous ‘corso’ the “Belgrade Quay”, as well as numerous beaches along the shore, especially the most beautiful and well maintained “Shtrand” («Štrand») which stretches on a 10ha surface with all the supplemental content.
The riverside, is also a significant habitat for birds, some of which like the Kovil-Petrovaradin («Коviljsko-petrovaradinski») Isle, are special nature reserves, and are of international significance.


THE NOVI SAD FAIR
Founded in 1923, it covers an area of 22,6ha and draws 1 200 000 people, yearly. The biggest and most visited event is the “International Agriculture Fair” with about 2000 exhibitors from Serbia and abroad. The Novi Sad Fair organizes 20 fairs and exhibitions, and 400 events in the “Master” Congress Center, yearly.


THE OLD CITY CORE
The architecture of the city represents a mixture of several different styles. The oldest house “At the White Lion” was built in long ago 1740. The city streets boast several beautiful palaces from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century: “Tanurdzićeva”, “Menratova”, “Vatikan”, “Klajnova”, etc. as well as sacral architecture belonging to different confessions.

Price: 250 EUR for max 8 people