Are you getting ready to party? With the festival just seven days away, we decided to dedicate this countdown to the location of EXIT Festival for the past 19 years – Petrovaradin Fortress. Interested to learn more about this historical and cultural gem on the river Danube? Yes? Then keep on reading!


On the rocky wall at the foot of Fruska Gora, there were military fortifications at the place of today’s fortress, and the latest archaeological research indicates that the history of this site is over 200,000 years old.

The Celts stayed here from the 3rd to the 4th century BC. In the Roman era, in the 1st century AD, there was a Cusum fortress between Petrovaradin and today’s Sremska Kamenica. In the time of Byzantium in the same place, there was the fortress Petricon. In the 8th century, today’s Petrovaradin was in the French state, and since the 9th century, it was a part of the medieval Hungarian state. The Turks occupied the fort in 1526.

The Turkish fortress, after 160 years, (1687) was won by the Austrians. In 1692, Austria began the construction of a new fortification fortress, today known as the Petriavaradin fortress.

The building of the fort lasted for 88 years, up until 1780. It was built during the reign of the Austrian Emperors Leopold I, Joseph I, Charles IV, Maria Theresa, and Joseph II, according to the system of the building by Marquis Sebastian Voban (16533-1707), a French military leader, architect and writer. Voban did not have the opportunity to visit the construction site of the fort. Many fortresses in Europe were built with this system in mind, and Petrovaradin is the largest one, spreading over 110 hectares. Special features of this system include the high and steep slopes, coarse and deep mined shanks, all of which are flooded with water shunts and channels with mobile bridges, and control gates.

The Petrovaradin Fortress was built according to the plans of Kaisersfeld and Marsillia, and the military builders were Vamberg, Gisenbir, Doksat, Manet and Schroeder, all of the prominent names of the military architecture of the Austrian Empire. There is a particularly significant underworld of the Fortress on four floors, with 16 kilometers of corridors, as well as a large well, which served as a water supply in the event of a prolonged siege of the fortress. Those interested in the tour of the underground galleries are recommended to do so only in the company of professional guides of the Novi Sad City Museum.

According to one legend, the name Petrovaradin is derived from several words – “Petra” in Latin means rock, “var” is in Hungarian for the city, and “din” in the Turkish means religion, from which Petrovaradin was derived meaning “a city on a rock, firm as faith.”

The Petrovaradin fortress was completely demilitarized in the middle of the 20th century when it was declared a historical monument, placed under state protection and reserved for civilian use. There are plenty of attractions and landmarks on Petrovaradin Fortress itself, such as the Museum and Archives of Novi Sad, hotels and restaurants, ateliers and galleries of fine artists, academy of art, astronomical observatory, planetarium, and many others.

Clock Tower is a recognizable sign of the Petrovaradin Fortress and Novi Sad. Cross-hour circuits on all four sides of the baroque tower are larger than two meters, and the numbers are written in Roman numerals, as is the rule in Christian churches. A special feature of the clock is a large handle that shows hours while the small one points to minutes. This was done for the ships on the Danube, since hours were more important to the shift of the guard and the military order. The clock mechanism is still working and operated by hand.

Monumentality of the Fortress on the rocky wall and the Danube at the base contributed to many calling Petrovaradin Fortresses – “Gibraltar on the Danube”.


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