Novi Sad

Novi Sad is the capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, its economic, cultural, scientific, educational, health and administrative center with nearly 320.000 inhabitants. The city is situated on the left bank of the Danube River in South Backa. At the end of 17th century, on a reef of Fruska gora mountain, on the right bank of the Danube, the construction of Petrovaradin Fortress started. Soon around the trench, a smallish settlement of tradesmen, fishermen, craftsmen and boatmen was formed. Meanwhile, by 1780, the largest military fortification of Austrian Empire “ The Petrovaradin Fortress” – “The Gibraltar on the Danube” was completed. Parallel to the construction, the broadening of the settlement opposite the Fortress was evident. It was named with different names: Neoplanta, Ujvidégh, Neysatz and finally on February 1, 1748 it got the name of Novi Sad, when its inhabitants paid 95.000 forints to Vienna in order to obtain the status of a free royal city. Novi Sad is also called “Serbian Athens”, what is specially emphasized by its citizens. It is the city of education, culture, museums, galleries, libraries and theaters. In 1790 Emanuel Janković brought the first printing press and opened the bookshop according to European standard. Serbian Orthodox Great Grammar School (the second among the Serbs, after Karlovacka Grammar School, 1791) was founded in 1810. One of the teachers, Georgije Magarasević, launched in 1824 a magazine “The Serbian Journal”, published nowadays under the name “The Matica srpska Journal” as the oldest “alive” literature journal in the world. In Novi Sad in 1861, Serbian National Theater, the oldest professional theater in Yugoslavia, was founded. Matica srpska, educational, cultural, and scientific institution was founded in 1826 in Budapest, and moved to Novi Sad in 1864. Cultural and historical development of Novi Sad contributed to formation of architectural tourist values, which form complex units of monumental and artistic character. The largest number of the values is concentrated in the central, old city part (Zmaj Jovina St. and Dunavska St.), today forming a unique ambience from which traffic was banned. Recognizable features of this part of the city are the buildings built in 18th and 19th century. The oldest building in the city is White Lion’s House, built at the corner of Zmaj Jovina St. and Dunavska St. in 1720. Of special value as well is The City Hall, old building of Municipal Assembly, built in neo-renaissance style at the Square of Liberty in 1894, by the project of Molnár György. The most valuable room is the auditorium on the first floor with paintings of Pavle Ruzicka. In 1907 the bell with the image of St. Florian, the city protector at that time, was placed in the high tower. The building of the Museum of Vojvodina is also important. It was formerly the Court in Dunavska St., built in 1900 by the project of Vágner Gyula. Worth mentioning are also the following buildings: “Yugoslav Army House” (today Vojvodjanska Bank), Tanurdzić’s Palace (residential and business building, built in 1933-34), Grammar School “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj” (built in 1910, by the project of Vladimir Nikolić), Bishop’s Palace of Bačka Eparchy (with elements of Serbian, Byzantine and Mavar style from 1901) and Matica srpska (built in 1912 by the project of Momcilo Tapavica). “Plebanija” in Catholic churchyard was built in 1808 and today represents a rare monument of old architecture. When entering the city from Varadinski Bridge, two buildings are perceived: first, Workers’ House (built in 1913 by the project of Dragisa Brasovan, with the statue of a worker at the front, carved by Toma Roksandić), and then Province Government and Assembly (formerly Civil Governor’s House, having the characteristics of monumental building, built between 1936 and 1939, by the project of Dragisa Brasovan too. Its exterior is covered in marble from the island of Brac, whereas the central hall and staircase are covered in Italian stone from Carara. Its interior consists of wide corridors from which large business premises are entered.) The Home of Culture, formerly the house of Serbian National Theater until it got its own building, was built according to the project of Djordje Tabaković in 1938. Today it is the house of Youth Theater and Toy Theater. However, an important component of monumental values of the city are the buildings and complexes built in modern time: Serbian National Theater building (by the project of Victor Jackijevic, a polish architect), Sports and Business Center Vojvodina (an attractive complex made of metal, glass, concrete and marble covering the area of 65.000m2 for sports and recreation activities: tennis, swimming pools, ice-rink, Large Hall for 10.000 spectators, Small Hall for 1.200 spectators and additional 20 hectares where the stadium of FC Vojvodina was built), Central Post Office, Railway Station Building (built in 1964 by the project of Imre Farkas), NIS headquarters (completed in 1998 by the project of Aleksandar Keković) and etc. There are several churches in the city, famous for their monumental value, architecture, valuable interior and collections of artistic and historical importance. Fast economic, cultural and educational progress with national, religious and language variety in the background influenced building of different churches in Novi Sad, for it was the religious center, too. The churches in the city were built gradually, the first were built of available material at that time: boards, and reed e.g., and stone was used for the floor construction. According to tradition, the first Orthodox Church of Saint George dates back to 1700. Since 1708 in Novi Sad (“Trench” at that time) has been the seat of Backa’ Bishop. The first stone and brick made Saborna Church was built in the 18th century (1742) during the reign of queen Maria Teresa, but today’s appearance it got by the project of Mihail Harminac, an architect from Budapest in 1902-1905, while Mitrofan Sević was the Bishop). Iconostasis was made by a famous Serbian painter Paja Jovanovic in Vienna, and wall compositions were made by Stevan Aleksic, whereas the stained glass windows were done by Imre Zeler from Budapest. All the present Orthodox churches in the city were built by 1748: Saborna with Bishop’s Palace, Almaška, Uspenska and Nikolajevska.