Petrovaradin Fortress

The Petrovaradin Fortress is one of the best-preserved and most beautiful great fortifications in Europe and it was declared a national monument in 1951. Since then, it has been a cultural symbol of the city and a tourist attraction. There are the Museum and Archives of the City of Novi Sad, a hotel, restaurants, ateliers and galleries of visual artists, the Academy of Arts, the Astronomical Observatory, a Planetarium and many other contents. The big music festival, Exit, has been held here for years.

It spreads on 112 hectares, while the underground military galleries on four levels were an unreal 16 km long. The Fortress had a ‘water town’, i.e., small channels between the ramparts that are filled with water from the Danube when needed. It also spreads across the Upper Fortress, which represents the tourist attraction nowadays. The colossal fortification with its army was impossible to take over and so people called it ‘Gibraltar on the Danube’.

The cornerstone of today’s Petrovaradin Fortress was set in 1692. With certain interruptions, the construction came to an end in 1780, with an urban suburbium built as well. Serbian people worked on building the fortress as well. Serbs cursed the Fortress, due to the difficult work they had to do, saying they wish the ‘sour wood’ would ruin its foundation and knock it down. They say bricks were passed hand by hand, starting at the brickyard at the trenches (Trandžament) all the way to the construction works. An incredible number of forty million bricks were used for the construction of this monumental fortification, and since it was never really used for protection against the penetration of the Ottomans, it is considered one of the most failed investments of the Habsburg monarchy. However, its ingenious architecture on several levels of protection would prevent attackers from the very first attempt to conquer it.

The year 1780 is mentioned as the year the Petrovaradin Fortress was built, although some works lasted until 1790. It became the most contemporary armed fortress in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. This fortification is the second largest in Europe. The only bigger than this is the fortification in Verdun, but it suffered a great deal of damage during the First World War.

In addition to exciting musical performances, multimedia exhibitions and audio-visual artistic interventions will mark Doček celebration on 31 December – the exhibition inspired by Mileva Marić Einstein’s brilliant mind ‘Mileva: We Are One Rock’ at the City Museum of Novi Sad, shown through the artistic prism of author Dušan Jovović, PhD and the Tesla Light Gallery that will include works by Chida Yasuhiro from Japan, one of Artdex’s ‘9 Brilliant Light Artists’, Pavla Beranová from the Czech Republic, a winner of awards for interactive installations and best light design, and Dorijan Kolundžija, who runs the ‘Gallery 12’ new media studio, and whose one of the projects is the Museum of the Future in Dubai.