This monumental fortress on the bank of the Danube towers above Novi Sad like a watchman to keep it safe from any harm. It is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Built in the 18th Century, Petrovaradin Fortress is one of the finest examples of Austro-Hungarian military architecture. Tucked behind the fortress’ massive walls, inside the complex, are the City Museum, the Planetarium, the Historical Archive and many art studios.
The plateau in front of the Clock Tower offers a panoramic view of Novi Sad and the Danube. The most imposing visual presence on this plateau is the famous clock tower, recognisable for its reversed minute and hour hands. To help boatmen on the Danube tell the time, the big hand of this unique clock shows hours, while the small hand shows minutes, which makes it a favourite attraction with tourists and locals alike.
Petrovaradin has its own, distinct architectural identity, with narrow streets and baroque buildings, most notably the Roman Catholic Church of Saint George, the Belgrade Gate, the Church of Saint Peter and Paul and the City Hall (“Magistrat”).
The lasting memories you will take with you from this complex are well worth a day’s leisurely walk.
Dunavska and Zmaj Jovina streets form a unique architectural area at the very heart of Novi Sad. Lined with vividly coloured houses, they comprise a network of side streets and alleys.
A tour of this, the most picturesque part of the city’s pedestrian zone will take you past the lavish Bishop’s Palace, the monumental Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George and Jovan Jovanović Zmaj Grammar School, after which the whole area was named.
Novi Sad’s central square, Trg slobode (“Liberty Square”), has always been a place for major events and celebrations and a meeting point for locals of all ages. The most imposing landmarks at its centre are the unique edifice of the City Hall, the Name of Mary Church, a majestic Roman Catholic cathedral, and the monument to Svetozar Miletić, Serbian politician, journalist and one-time mayor of Novi Sad. The realistic monument is the work of Ivan Meštrović, one of the most illustrious Yugoslav sculptors.
This favourite pedestrian zone attracts thousands of visitors every day to discover on foot the city’s architecture, history and spirit.
Another very interesting area of Novi Sad is Štrand, an organised sandy beach on the Danube with a view of the Liberty Bridge, which might be mistaken for a sea beach, were it not for the vegetation on the opposite bank of the Danube.
And the greenery opposite the beach is in fact the Fisherman’s Island, a veritable oasis for fishing and sailing enthusiasts.
On the quay next to Štrand stands a unique monument to World War II victims, a composition entitled “The Family”. The bronze statue, which strikingly emphasises the frailness of human life, is dedicated to the people of Novi Sad who were shot during the January Raid of 1942.
The area around Zmaj Jovina street is also home to the Museum of Vojvodina, with its exquisite collection. Among the many artefacts on display, the highlights are the three gold-plated helmets from late antiquity, the only such specimens in Europe, which have become the museum’s trademarks.
Major works of 20th- and 21st-Century visual artists from Vojvodina, Serbia, Yugoslavia and Europe are on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, situated right on the bank of the Danube. The museum’s exhibits, which emphasise multiculturalism, reflect the true cultural wealth of Vojvodina.
For a more thorough understanding of Serbian and Vojvodina art, visit the Gallery of Matica srpska, which keeps etchings, paintings, drawings, sculptures and oleographs created from the 17th to the 20th Century.
The Novi Sad City Museum features a large collection spread across several buildings. On display at the museum’s central building are models of various military fortifications built in this area from prehistoric times to World War I. The remaining buildings hold a collection of world art and a memorial collection dedicated to Jovan Jovanović Zmaj, one of the greatest Serbian poets.